Thursday, 15 January 2015

Khawr Rori with Andrew Bailey

On Saturday morning, Andrew Bailey and I visited Khawr Rori. The main section opens at 9am so we birded the wadi leading to the Khawr from the main road first. Here we found a second white breasted water hen of Andrew's trip.

Just before 9am we headed to the main gate but never got there on time. As we were driving along the long drive to it we past a wheatear which had a rusty top to its tail. We decided to reverse the car and try to find it. We did. It is a potential kurdish wheatear and we have been consulting experts before displaying the pictures more widely.

When we finally got to main part of Khawr Rori, it was its usual self with many tens of ducks, waders and other water loving species as including about 10 pheasant-tailed jacana.

pheasant-tailed jacana

For a short while we looks a bit harder than usual at the land birds given our experience with the wheatear finding among others, a tawny pipit.

tawny pipit

Perhaps, inevitably we returned to the water birds.

European spoonbill

I am not featuring ducks in this blog as I have posted so many times about them at Khawr Rori. If a common shelduck appears before the winter is out then that will be different!

Cormorant, herons and European spoonbill

Great cormorant, flamingo, European spoonbill, intermediate egret were all present along with the very common western reef heron and grey heron.

black stork

A very pleasant surprise were two black stork. A single black stork has been seen often at Wadi Darbat all winter. Suddenly we see two which may not include it. In the main regional guide it is listed as a vagrant.

whiskered tern with wood sandpiper

There were relatively few marsh tern present. They appeared all to be whiskered tern.

several black-tailed godwit

I tracked as many black-tailed godwit as I could enlisting Andrew's help but neither of us could find the long-billed dowitcher that has been reported twice here and which is known to associate with godwits.

red-knobbed coot (left) Picture by Andrew Bailey

Towards the end of our time at the Khawr, Andrew focussed his attention on the coot and picked out two red-knobbed coot among them. One is shown on the left of the photo. Its knobs, bluish bill and rounded dark feathering into the bill are diagnostic. They are easily over-looked.

This wasn't the end of Andrew's visit but it is the end of my photographs. After leaving Khawr Rori we made a final stop at Sahnaut farm before dusk where Andrew added 10 more to his 3 day list to make 157. These included ring necked parakeet, pallid harrier, white winged black tern, chestnut bellied sandgrouse and rosy starling.

I look forward to visiting Andrew in the spring in Abu Dhabi and seeing what we manage there.

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