Saturday, 31 May 2014

Collared pratincole at East Salbukh

This blog continues my report on Friday morning's visit to East Salbukh. All the birds reported on here were seen on the north and east sides of the wetland following on from my start down the west side. 

collared pratincole

As I approached the north east corner of the wetland, I could see a camel herder and his herd in the distance heading straight for me. It was a pity as this corner has streams and is more like a marsh land than a wetland with reed beds. I have had some luck in seeing different birds there.

With a few minutes before the camels could arrive I scanned the area and picked up a collared pratincole.

second view of collared pratincole

This was the first time I had seen one at East Salbukh though of course I have only been birding there since February. 

A second collared pratincole was later seen further round the wetland.

Another late migrant was only two metres away from the site of the first collared pratincole. This was a wood sandpiper.

wood sandpiper with crested lark

To my mind it looks thin and has been lucky to finally find such a good stopping off point. 

wood sandpiper

It was so thin and slender I explored other possibilities for its identity including vagrants. However in doing so I came across the fact that those small black spots surrounding the vent area are a summer diagnostic for wood sandpiper

Little ringed plover

Near- by was the first of several sightings of little ringed plover. I had seen them on earlier visits to the wetland but not the last twice. I suppose I could have over-looked them in favour of Kentish plover. Judging by the number of young birds among the little ringed plover, they have bred here too.

They prefer marginally better drained land than Kentish plover and with some stones or pebbles. At East Salbukh this means a few places on the north and east side for little ringed plover.

back of rufous bush robin

Another bird I hadn't seen in the past two visits was rufous bush robin. A quick flash of its rufous tail in the distance alerted me to it. In bright sunlight this is very distinctive.

rufous bush robin

It wouldn't pose for me so I'm afraid the photos aren't ideal.

Overall the visit was worthwhile even though the number of species was limited. I coped with the heat better than last time by packing more water and not having to give some away.

List of species seen at East Salbukh on Friday

Little bittern
Namaqua dove
Grey heron
Eurasian collared dove
Common moorhen
Crested lark
Water rail
Barn swallow
Black winged stilt
Eurasian reed warbler
Collared pratincole
Sedge warbler
Little ringed plover
Graceful prinia
Kentish plover
Rufous bush robin
Wood sandpiper
House sparrow
Feral pigeon

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