Friday 10 December 2010

Lovely weather for ducks

Mallard is a really common duck in most of Europe. Even non-birders in Britain could put a name to it. I also think British people are quite affectionate towards it. I don't know about other nations.

In Libya its not very common but it is a bit special in a strange sort of way. You see, its pretty much the last bird to arrive in the winter.

flock of mallard in formation at Garyounis, Benghazi

As the guidebooks say "it retreats from ice". So it only arrives here when the big freeze has started in Europe. Well, it must have happened because I saw my first flock of the winter at the wetlands near Garyounis, Benghazi on Tuesday.

It can be seen anywhere in northern Libya and even as far south as Sebha once the freeze has begun.

flock of mallard at Garyounis, Benghazi

For the record there were also ferruginous duck at Garyounis which I previously reported about a month ago (and which are still there)

coot at Garyounis

And for want of a better place to record it there were an increased number of coot too.

Just as Europe has entered the big freeze so the cooler, wetter weather has finally begun here or at least it has in some places.

weather for Shahat over the next two days from

Shahat is east of Benghazi. It is the coolest and least dry place in the whole country. That's probably why the ancient Greeks built Cyrene there. It and the whole Jebel Ahkhdar region is getting a fair amount of rain as I write.

This is great news for farms and birds. The wadis and sebkhets will be full from tomorrow.

other local weather from

Shame Benghazi and south are not going to get so much. This almost certainly means I will be birding in the Jebel Ahkhdar area next week. Can't wait.

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