Wednesday 8 May 2013

Still rain and migrants

The week started hot and dusty. Most people thought the unusually wet and cool weather was over. However two days ago the weather broke and isolated thunderstorms returned. Having so much rain from mid April till now is truly exceptional.

masked shrike

During the three hot days it looked like the migration was finally fizzling out. Only a few hardy shrikes and a few other migrants were obvious on my walk to work. These were all masked shrike and red backed shrike.

red backed shrike

The glut of lesser grey shrike that passed through was short lived. It lasted only one day actually.

Upcher's warbler

The only warbler I saw was an Upcher's warbler and a brief glimpse of a willow warbler. The last European bee-eater passed through on Sunday and none have been seen since.

Spotted flycatcher

On the other hand spotted flycatcher have been around all through the week. Along with the two shrikes this is a known late passage bird.

common redstart

However on Monday and Tuesday the weather was wet again and temperatures dropped. Suddenly I started see chats and warblers again. Were they forced down by the storms or did they choose to stop over because it was more clement? Or were they here all the time but taking to deep shade? I don't know. All I know is that it was more active again.

The common redstart above is puffed up because it was wet and cold!


Similarly the whinchat looked cold too. Incidentally I hadn't seen any whinchat for 10 days but last night there were two (one male and one female).

Warblers have included more Upcher's warbler, willow warbler, a chiffchaff and an eastern olivaceous warbler.

rose ringed parakeet

Meanwhile the resident birds such as rose ringed parakeet are increasingly in evidence.

Hopefully I am off to Bahrain tonight, outstanding visa issues permitting. I am not sure what the birding will be like. Let's see.

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