Tuesday 15 August 2017

Even heavier passage at the waste water site

I returned to the waste water site on Saturday 12th August. There was even more passage than the week before. Yet again e-bird would not accept that several species could be present this early. I had to add seven species which were not available on the drop down list.

At the same place as last week and next to where the car is parked up, a juvenile woodchat shrike was present.

woodchat shrike 1

It may well have been the same one as a week before. However, that is not guaranteed. There were four on site on Saturday and three were juveniles.

woodchat shrike 2

There were once again several western bonelli's warbler and melodious warbler around.

western bonelli's warbler

I had better views of the western bonelli's warbler than the week before. It is a pleasure to see so many so easily.

western bonelli's warbler

More willow warbler and chiffchaff were also coming through.

Very soon aferwards I spotted my first Eurasian pied flycatcher of the season. I met four of these too. One was a first year of either the iberian sub species or Atlas flycatcher. I didn't get the necessary pictures so the latter species is still not on my Mauritanian list.

The water body had more activity. Eight grey heron had arrived along with one glossy ibis which wasn't associating with them.

grey heron taking flight

Common redshank were still present. Both they and grey heron are skittish birds but I had more success than the week before at seeing the array of water birds without them flying off. It may be that I was more careful this time.

spur-winged lapwing

The spur-winged lapwing mobbed two brown-necked raven that turned up. It makes a change for ravens to be on the receiving end of a mobbing.

soiled dunlin

I am always on the look out for any single waders. This time there was a solitary juvenile dunlin. It looked like its head was a bit soiled.

common sandpiper

The least skittish of all the likely sandpipers is common sandpiper.

black-winged stilt

Black-winged stilt have not been a common visitor to this site.

wood sandpiper

By constrast wood sandpiper is one of the most common.

common redshank

One of the common redshank finally stayed still long enough for its photo to be taken.

the water body

After looking at the water for a while, I dived into some trees and stayed completely still to see what would come to me.

nightingale 1

I was rewarded with two nightingale and a rufous bush robin.

nightingale 2

I saw a small number of chiffchaff under the trees near the nightingaleAll the world's population of Iberian chiffchaff apparently migrate through Mauritania to their winter grounds just a little way south. And yet I still haven't positively identifed one. I will keep looking. 


Even ones with strong supercilia and with a very pale belly like the one above, still have buff hues on the upperparts. I am beginning to wonder how many iberian chiffchaff have the steroetypical bright yellow supercilium, green upper parts and white belly? Are these colours all buffer in autumn?

western orphean warbler 1

On my way back to the car in an area where I had seen western bonelli's warbler, was an obviousy larger warbler. A western orphean warbler took a long time to come out into an exposed position but with patience it did.

western orphean warbler 2

This was fine end to a good birding session.

The next day I teamed up with Mohamed Vall. We went south to Amzela and the water plant in Riyadh district. I ended up with two additions to my country list. I will blog about this next.

Species seen at the waste water site on August 13th
Grey Heron  
Glossy Ibis  
Black-winged Stilt  
Spur-winged Lapwing  
Little Stint  
Common Sandpiper  
Green Sandpiper  
Wood Sandpiper  
Common Redshank  
Laughing Dove  
Namaqua Dove  
Eurasian Hoopoe 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  
Common Kestrel  
Southern Grey Shrike  
Woodchat Shrike  
Brown-necked Raven  
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark  
Crested Lark  
Barn Swallow      
Willow Warbler      
Common Chiffchaff      
Western Bonelli's Warbler    
Melodious Warbler      
Western Orphean Warbler  
Spectacled Warbler  
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin      
Common Nightingale  
European Pied Flycatcher  

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