I have seen gulls swimming on the surface of the sea and feeding, I have seen them flying over an area and diving down to catch prey. I have seen a flock in a feeding frenzy on a school of fish close to the surface. I have seen them picking up scraps at rubbish bins placed along the beachfront. Now I have seen them employ a rather unique method to secure food.
This Common Black-headed Gull was in a shallow pool on the beach. It would carry out a tap dance, which I think was to disturb the sand and flush out prey items.
Keeping a sharp eye out, when something broke cover it was quick to lunge forward and catch it.
Here it is rewarded with a tiny morsel of something to eat.
In another pool nearby I came across a Slender-billed Gull employing the same tactics.
First up the tap dance.
A rapid strike when a prey item appeared
Quick as a flash the morsel disappeared into the gullet.
I drove out to the beach at Al Wakra this afternoon. High tide was scheduled for 14.27, even though it was only going to be a 0.84m tide, which is very low.( a bit confusing) It was also a bit overcast so not the best of light. With so much of the beach exposed, even at high tide, there were lots of vehicles that had driven out onto the flats so I think many of the birds had moved off. Here is a sample of what was on offer.
Common Ringed Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Male Kentish Plover
Common Black-headed Gull
Gull-billed Tern after take-off
Does anybody know this species? I found it close to the shore in the mangrove swamp area at the beach.
Thanks to Neil Morris for the I.D. on this plant. It is a Desert Hyacinth.
When I was out and about today there were Common Kestrels everywhere. Previously I had struggled to get close enough to get good images. The other day I managed two pics, but today I was fortunate enough to take several photos, some of them B.I.F. shots . I saw what appeared to be a small rodent and several large grasshopper/locusts that had been caught as prey.
Qatar. I set out again early this morning for some more testing with my new camera. As I left the city and headed south I ran into a very thick fog. It was incredible. Visibility was down to a few metres. All the large haulage trucks were parked off along the side of the highway. I presume they have been instructed not to travel under these conditions. You quickly realise just how many of these vehicles are moving up and down the roads when you see them all parked. Cars were using their hazard lights, it reminded me a bit of London over Xmas with all the twinkling lights. After about an hour I got to where I wanted to be. The fog was still as thick as pea soup so I just had to wait patiently until the sun started to burn it off.
The other day I dipped on getting any images of the many Common Kestrels that were present. I was determined not to come away empty handed today. Luckily my perseverance paid off and I managed a few.
I was sitting in the vehicle having a mid morning snack when a couple of surprises put in an appearance.