Friday 30 May 2014

Little bittern and more at East Salbukh

Since East Salbukh wetland was found on google earth back in February, it has definitely now superseded Al Hayer as my most visited "local patch". 

There are several reasons for this. First and possibly foremost, it is closer and quicker to reach. I don't have to travel through the city to the south. I live in a northern suburb and East Salbukh is north of the city. It takes less than half an hour door to venue. Second, it's also more compact. I can walk round it in 5 or 6 hours. Third it seems to have almost as much diversity of birds as Al Hayer. Though eagles may be a challenge come winter. Fourth, its less disturbed by fishermen and hunters. The latter because the mud bogs down any car that gets near.

So this morning I went there again. Birding started at 5.30 am and finished at 11.30 am which is a typical summer schedule.

young little bittern

This blog covers some of the sights on the west side of the roughly rectangular wetland.  

The first good news is I finally photographed one of the little bittern I have been seeing every time I have visited.

little bittern in different pose

There was an adult bird near by which never left this youngster far behind. 

It is on the west side that I have been seeing water rail (but not last weekend). There is more good news in that I saw two again and in different places. 

adult water rail emerging from the reeds

While all the birds have been adults, its looking more and more likely that this species spends the summer here and that should lead to breeding.

adult water rail swiftly returning to the reeds

If the birds are passage or wintering, its getting very late. Among the warblers, I observed no willow warbler or great reed warbler this time and only one sedge warbler. This is a sign that passage is near spent.

Graceful prinia and European reed warbler were common and not going anywhere.

a flock of Kentish plover

The west side is the best side to see Kentish plover which were flocking again now that breeding is over.

Black winged stilt

More and more black winged stilt are being spotted at the edge of the wetland as I walk round.

crested lark

Crested lark are every where.

unknown lizard

Yet another lizard was observed. They aren't on my list of new study areas I'm afraid. I'm beginning to take note of butterflies and would love to take up my childhood study of wild flowers again. Lizards,however, will have to wait though this one's name is of interest. 

The next blog recounts more on this morning's walk. It includes a look at a new bird for this site.

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