Monday 21 April 2014

Jubail on an April afternoon

After about noon on Friday, Bernard Bracken and I moved away from the salient lagoons at Sebket Al Fasl, Jubail into the adjacent fresh water wetland.  

One of our first sights was a flock of over twenty squacco heron all in summer plumage.

squacco heron

They disturbed very easily but moved off only a short distance. As they moved off, we thought we glimpsed a Eurasian spoonbill take off with them but which didn't land.  We weren't certain though.

little egret with Kentish plover

In the same pool there were two little egret as well as several Kentish plover and little tern.

little grebe

Further on round the wetland we spotted coot, moorhen, little grebe and more purple swamphen.

Eurasian spoonbill

While watching these a Eurasian spoonbill  rose up in the distance proving we had seen one earlier.

Also in the distance from time to time was a marsh harrier, one of only two birds of prey seen all day at the wetland.

yellow wagtail

At the banks of one of the pools, was a small flock of yellow wagtail with a single red-throated pipit which gave good views.

red throated pipit

We had been seeing flashes of red throated pipit for some time but none had allowed good viewing. 

little ringed plover

Even in this fresh water area we saw some waders though nowhere near as many as at the salty lagoon earlier.  Little stint and Kentish plover were commonplace. Though a small number of little ringed plover and a single dunlin were also observed.


There was only a single common sandpiper too.

common sandpiper

The reed beds were thronging with sound of various reed warblers and probably sedge warblers as well though I not proficient enough to tell the difference between them. 

clamorous reed warbler by Bernard Bracken

Luckily at one stage  two of the reed warblers came out into the open briefly and Bernard was quick enough to photograph one of them.  Bernard has kindly allowed me to use his photo in the blog.

It was a clamorous reed warbler of the sub species brunnescens.  This sub species is often called Indian reed warbler.  

Later two great reed warbler also made appearances.

black crowned night heron swimming

As we walked round the heat was more and more oppressive.  The birds were feeling the heat too. Many had there bills continually open. A black crowned night heron was one of the last birds we saw and it was swimming to keep cool. I am not sure I have ever seen a member of the heron family swim before.

There were 38 species positively identified at Sebkhet Al Fasl

Eurasian spoonbill
Little stint
Black crowned night heron
Curlew sandpiper
Squacco heron
Grey heron
Slender-billed gull
Little egret
Little tern
Western reef heron
White winged black tern
Caspian tern
Marsh harrier
Eurasian collared dove
Turkestan shrike
Purple swamphen
Crested lark
Eurasian coot
Barn swallow
Black winged stilt
Graceful prinia
Common ringed plover
Clamorous reed warbler (Indian reed warbler)
Little ringed plover
Great reed warbler
Kentish plover
Common snipe
House sparrow
Common redshank
Yellow wagtail
Wood sandpiper
White wagtail
Common sandpiper
Red throated pipit

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