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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Menetrie's in Ajban 19.02.11

There is a place between Dubai and Abu Dhabi called Ajban. In Ajban there are a number of farms which have a lot of water run-off I believe. This has resulted in small lakes that have now become home to several species of bird. I decided to spend the day there last Saturday in the search for good Desert Wheatear pictures and anything else of interest. I had only been there a few minutes when I encountered two Menetries's Warblers. Now I have seen these birds before but not had great opportunities for Photographs, fortunately that was about to change :

Bird sightings included :
Menetries's Warbler 2
Asian Desert Warbler 5
Desert Wheatear 4
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Turkestan Shrike 1
Daurian Shrike 1 (Now split from Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus))
Ruff 15
Little Egret 2
Western Reef Heron 1
Cattle Egret 12
Clamourous Reed Warbler 1 (several more heard)
Little Ringed Plover 1
Kentish Plover 2
Little Stint 2
Black Winged Stilt 10
Green Bee-Eater 6
Barn Swallow 4
House Martin 1
Pallid Swift 100

 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)

 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)
 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)
 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)
 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)
 Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)

 Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
 Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

 Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)
Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis)
Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)
Now split from Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scrub Warblers in Masafi Wadi 05.02.11

The weather was perfect last weekend for walking in the Wadis near Masafi (on the way to Fujeirah from Dubai).

This location has had a good variety of records over the years and has the reputation of turning up surprises.   Black-eared Wheatear being one of those a couple of years back.  However on this occasion I was targeting the Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta) which I had noted there exactly one year before and is known to be resident breeding.  Habitats for this bird are barren , stony hillsides, semi-deserts and sandy plains with low scrub, up to 2600m.  Masafi Wadi being typical habitat.  I had taken call recordings with me but the call proved to be of interest to only one of the four birds I was to encounter.  These little birds move very quickly and are highly active,  so be prepared for a lot of scrambling up rocky hillsides !

Other birds encountered of note were Red-Tailed Wheatear, Hume's Wheatear, Variable Wheatear, White-Spectacled Bulbul,  Desert Lesser Whitethroat and Plain leaf Warbler.

 Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta)

 Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta)

 Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta)
 Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta)

 Red-Tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna)

 Desert Whitethroat (Sylvia minula)

 Plain Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus neglectus)

Red-Tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna)