At the local patch the other day the birds were going about the important task of feeding themselves as usual. By patiently observing them I managed to capture some of what was on the menu.
A Eurasian Curlew probing with its extra long beak
After a bit of effort it is rewarded with a juicy cricket
This image shows the Curlew and a Whimbrel together. The Curlew is about twice the size of a Whimbrel which a much longer beak
This Indian Reed Warbler was popping out of the cover of the nearby reeds to spear tadpoles that swam to close to the waters edge
It also managed to spear a small frog
The Western Reef Heron was hunting small fish
The Grey Heron was competing with the Western Reef Heron but not doing as well. I did not see it spear any fish, although I saw it strike several times
As reported on the S.A. Rare Bird News web site, there has been a recent sighting by Peter Steyn and Andre Demblon of a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. This is a first record for the country. Normally they migrate as far south as Kenya. It is a possible case of a reverse migration and has caused much excitement in birding circles in the region.
In Qatar the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin is a common passage migrant in both the Spring and the Autumn with a few birds remaining over the Summer to breed. Here a bird in Qatar is seen in a classical pose with the raised tail and about to flick its wings. Visible are the dark tip and white corners to the tail, the black eye-line and the white supercilium
Whilst at the local patch this week I recorded these species which could be an indication that migration activity is about to start shortly
Wood Sandpiper last seen here in April this year
Common Sandpiper last seen here in April this year
Whimbrel. Last seen here in September 2015
I was at the local patch the other day. It was warm and humid to put it mildly. The normal recent regulars were in attendance: Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Great Cormorant, Grey Francolin, Mallard type ducks, and a few others. During the morning I came across a Little Grebe (unfortunately no image) last seen here in October 2015. Also recorded was an uncommon intermediate phase Western Reef Heron. I have recorded the dark phase Western Reef Heron here before but this intermediate phase bird is a new tick. It was competing for the right to occupy this rock with the Grey Heron. Unfortunately size counts and it was chased off
Intermediate Phase Western Reef Heron. A new tick for the local patch
Grey Heron. King of the Castle having seen off the Reef Heron
Ever since I first observed this bird at the end of February I have been able to make regular observations of it as it decided to make my local patch its home. Below is a record of how the plumage has undergone a transformation from when I first saw it into full Summer breeding plumage.
Mid March. Heavily streaked on throat neck and head. Light brown back and wings
Last week in April. Streaking much reduced. White appearing on the wings
Early June. Yellowish-buff crown and neck. Back turning into a rich brown
Early July. Yellowish-buff crown neck and flanks, rich brown back and long white nape plumes