This bird was lying in a shallow scrap in the gravel. Note the loose soil on its back
It fluffs up its feathers, spraying the soil into the air and onto its body
Some more feather fluffing
It stands up and begins to move off
It pauses a moment to give me the once over before disappearing into the cover of the field
Portrait of a Common Quail
My first Turkestan Shrike of the season
An Arabian Grey Shrike for comparison
One of the Owlets gular fluttering in the hot and humid conditions
One fo the Owlets has some fun chasing a Eurasian Hoopoe
A Little Tern patrolling over one of the ponds at the local patch
A Lesser Crested Tern flies by
A Common Mynah cools down in a pool of water
A Common Quail seen here in early morning light. For some reason they were out and about all over the farm today. I must have seen at least ten birds during the course of the morning. Normally they are very shy and you only hear them calling from within cover or see them flying away from you low over the fields
A Isabelline Wheatear also captured in soft morning light. My first image for the season.
My first Sand Martin of the season
I have seen Barn Swallows on several occasions recently but again this is my first image of the season
A very shy female Ferruginous Duck that was keeping half concealed in the over-hanging reeds in one of the storage dams. A scarce localised resident which is having to find new habitat given the draining of Abu Nakhla ponds
My first record of a European Bee-eater this season. There were about a dozen birds present this morning
Other birds included: Crested Lark, Little Egret. Western Reef Heron, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Common Moorhen, Arabian Grey Shrike, Lilith Owl, Namaqua Dove, Grey Francolin, Corn Bunting and the rest
Other than the Great Crested Grebes there were also quite a few other birds to be seen.
A little Ringed Plover and the Kentish Plover below were patrolling the shoreline on the lookout for tasty morsels
There were quite a few Black-winged Stilts flying backwards and forwards across the water
A Squacco Heron flies past, heading for the reed beds
This Osprey was busy fishing. I later saw it perched with a fish in its talons
This Ruff keeps an eye on me as it wades trough the shallow water
Other birds included: Greater Flamingoes, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Western Reef Heron, Indian Reed Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Little Stint, Common Redshank and the rest.
There is a body of water adjacent to the Doha West Sewage treatment plant where the reed beds have provided sufficient cover for the Great Crested Grebes as well as other species to breed. By sitting quietly for a while I was able to capture some images as a couple of juveniles appeared from within the cover of the reeds and swam out into the open.
Adult Great Crested Grebe
A chick swims out into the open. Note how low in the water it is. Looking at other images on the net I did not find any others that showed this posture. Does anybody have a theory on this?
It was quite relaxed when a fish swam past in the shallow water
Once again see how low in the water it is swimming
A bit of wing flexing
I visited the farm the other morning despite knowing the heat and humidity would still be uncomfortable. I was keen to see if there would be any more signs of migration activity. I recorded two Yellow Wagtails without managing to get any images. There were still several Eurasian Hoopoes to be seen and a couple of Barn Swallows feeding over the water at the night storage dams. The most interesting records were a those of an Eurasian Hobby, my second of the season, and a Greater Short-toed Lark.
A juvenile Eurasian Hobby
Note the lack of reddish underside colouring found in the adult birds
A Greater Short-toed Lark. An early record for this bird as the literature has them listed as appearing from November onwards as passage migrants or Winter visitors
A male Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark seen sitting in the shade of a bush in an attempt to keep cool
Here a female Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark is busy feeding out in the open
A resident Indian Reed Warbler hopping about amongst the reedbeds on the look-out for insects
My first Yellow Wagtail of the Autumn
The early bird catches the worm
A happy Lesser Sand Plover having just had a lovely tasty earthworm for breakfast
Red-vented Bulbul. Less common than its cousin the White-eared Bulbul
A Rock Dove type, showing the two black bars on the wing. Note how it is wet on the neck and forehead having been drinking the moisture off the grass
A one legged multi-toed Western Reef Heron. Almost got you. Just the angle of the shot obscuring the other leg
As the hot and humid weather continues the local residents find ways to cope under these harsh conditions
This Eurasian Collared Dove slacks its thirst when it first arrives at the water
It then dips its breast and belly into the water to wet its feathers
Note how it is fluffing out its feathers to increase the contact with the water
I have seen this behaviour by doves on the ground before, but not whilst in water like this. I presume that the moisture on the underside of the wing must enhance the evaporative cooling process as any breeze passes across the wing's surface
All good to go again
Here is my latest set of preening images of one of the parent Lilith Owls. This was being carried out recently whilst the parent was on guard duty over the owlets. Obviously the parent was quite relaxed that the brood was getting on fine without too much supervision
Once the Whimbrel had completed its bath it made its way on to the beach and commenced its preening routine. The images tell the story.
Once all the feathers were groomed and back in place the bird made off down the beach in search of some tasty morsels