Sunday, 19 January 2020

The Humber

Two visits today after the early success.

Family walk this morning at Skeffling. Scored with another Merlin sighting and a male Marsh Harrier.

Last hour on my own, firstly at Welwick which produced three Short-eared Owls. Onto Skeffling again for 3 more!

Lucky to have such quality close by. A top day in the sunshine...


...........................................................................................

Made it to Duff after the Dentist yesterday after failing to find the Iceland Gull at Ricall. The water level is still high with mainly diving ducks present. The bonus being the presence of 6 Goldeneye including a fine drake. I scanned the Whooper Swans on Bubwith Ings regularly but couldn't find the Bewick's.

Firecrest - YES!

I'd arranged to go round to Richard's for 8.45am. As I was wrapping up I received a message informing me it was showing! I made my way round the corner but of course, it had dis-appeared.

He made me a brew and we waited. Around 10 minutes later, I was looking at my Village Firecrest... 169...

Always special!
I also added Coal Tit and Goldcrest (H.39) for the Year...

Friday, 17 January 2020

Village tick?

Fellow Birder and neighbour Richard Boon has had a Firecrest visiting his garden for a few days now. I had a brief attempt to no avail on Thursday afternoon and hope to try again this weekend, with Richard's approval of course!

Dental appointment in York tomorrow morning so a visit to NDC is definitely on the cards.


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

The "other" Swan?

Spent the morning looking for the elusive Bewick's Swans (at least for me) around the Bubwith area. I gave it till the rain arrived at Noon, checking out the Whoopers on Bubwith Ings (28) and Derwent Cottage Farm (89). I also tried Ellerton but no Swans present there. I'll try again.

I also tried for the Iceland Gull at Riccall but no joy there either.

Over to Lancs to see my Mother via Birstall to see my Son and Grandchildren. Couple of workdays then out again Saturday.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Bird Cruise

...as opposed to bird race. It's an age thing!

The forecast was promising, well at least until early afternoon when the wind was going to "pick up". No pre-planning, no specific route, just an ad-hoc day on the Patch relying on experience. I did check the tide times which weren't favourable to a wader fest. Also, I had obviously noted what had been seen recently that was "unusual". Unfortunately there had been a clear out of "rare Geese" but no matter...let's see what I can see. I felt 70 was a reasonable target.

I started pre-dawn down Snakey (after picking up GS Woodpecker outside the Cottage) hoping for Barn Owl. 3 runs and no luck. On my final run back towards Holmpton I saw a pale shape disappearing over a hedge. I took the side road and there was "my" Barn Owl quartering the meadow. Nice start! I also added Kestrel and Buzzard....I reckon I saw at least EIGHT birds at various locations, how times have changed...


Yet more luck with a pair of Mistle Thrushes high over the Village.

Next it was up to Out Newton to check the sea. As I got out of the car I could hear Pinkfeet! Two decent skeins were heading north out to sea...


More good luck. I counted 10 Red-throated Divers on the sea. Otherwise it was dead apart from the usual Gulls.

Next it was Withernsea. No sign of any Sanderlings or Turnstones but I did score with a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull. The Sewage produced Pied Wagtail (no Grey) and Meadow Pipit (no Skylark - which was a surprise). A big bonus here was a flock of 10 Ringed Plover flying North.

I then decided to head for Skeffling. Still decent numbers of waders around but I couldn't find any Godwits. A pair of Pintail sneaked onto the daylist. Here I was to connect with the bird of the day...MERLIN!


I also had a distant cc Marsh Harrier. I pushed my luck hoping for a Hen but it didn't materialize.

Back home for a quick bite and another check of the roadside hedges. This paid off with a lucky strike...Long-tailed Tits! While I was watching them I noticed a movement in the hedge by the car...

Can you see it?
Song Thrush
Time for a trip down the road. I checked out Kilnsea Wetlands (after picking up the Whooper Swans on Easington straight) for some "Duck ticks" but I couldn't find the Scaup. I did see Goldeneye. I made the walk west from Sammy's for "last weeks" Yellowhammers...of course, there was no sign today!

The wind was strong by now which didn't bode well for further sightings and so it turned out with no sign of Hen Harrier or Short-eared Owl at Welwick. However, I did fluke a late group of Red-legged Partridge to finish off. Well nearly, as the hoped for calling Tawny Owl performed on cue on returning home...despite the wind!

That was that. Some nice surprises and some glaring omissions (winter thrushes). Fun though.

Species seen 63

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Whatever the Weather?

Weather conditions affect birds...and Birders!

Unusual conditions raise hopes of new arrivals BUT are they conducive to "Good Birding"?

Time of year also relevant. Winter movements less regular but still occur. When will that Starling turn into a NUTCRACKER?!

So, conditions for bird movements...but what about conditions to bird IN?

VERY windy here today. Personally THE most frustrating conditions. Granted, can be excellent for seawatching but generally grim as it can be dry and bright yet getting good views is difficult. There are strategies you can use i.e. finding a shelter belt, woodland or hide. It is limiting though. Heavy rain ...I just put the kettle on!


Tuesday, 7 January 2020

January Birding

What to do?

Having been around a while now, I've started the year in different styles over the year. So, what to do this year...albeit belatedly. Up to now I've peedled (an old Lancashire term) around the Patch and LDV just ENJOYING the birds I've come across. What a novel idea! I've always got the "don't gobble 'em up to soon" adage in the back of my mind. Spring is a long way off! Yes, numbers and targets give incentive and motivation but aesthetic appreciation is ALWAYS high on my list...as is CHALLENGE. I do like the odd rarity BUT endless photos of the same bird?

Birding can be hard going after the initial burst of New Year optimism. However, there's ALWAYS something out there, if you're prepared to look hard enough for it. I'll just have to try and find 'em.

Hope you've got your plan sorted...that's if you need one...

Ings Birding

Back to the LDV yesterday. A great and VERY unexpected start at Duff' when Bud flushed a Jack Snipe from the edge of the car park! He has his uses.

NDC was still to deep for the dabblers with only Pochard (52) and Tufted Duck (30) present. I was hoping to see the Bewick's Swans that had been present in the Valley for a while now. I scanned Bubwith Ings from the Geoff Smith Hide but I could only see a small proportion of the flock from here. After around an hour I decided to try Ellerton Ings. No Swans BUT a VERY impressive count of Pintail (152)...


A sample...distantly!
I then drove back to Bubwith Bridge, parked up and walked North again along the flood bank.

Duller conditions today with a moderate westerly wind. I spent 2 hours scanning the Swans but I couldn't find the Bewick's (reported again today!). Still a great experience being relatively close to the birds...




I hope to try again. Be nice if they dropped on Duff later in the month which is quite possible once Bubwith dries up...maybe?

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Wild Goose Chase

The old ones are the best!?

The family walk at Skeffling this morning produced distant but prolonged views of a juvenile Hen Harrier.

Early afternoon found me down at Sammy's Point walking west towards Skeffling. It's unusual to have decent flocks of various species of Geese in the area, so I wanted to make the most of it. I bumped into Lance Degnan who was on his way back to the car park and wished him a Happy New Year. He told me the flocks were still present so I continued below the flood bank. A flock of small birds flew from the stubble to the nearest bush. Yellowhammers...I counted 52! Very encouraging.


The first Geese I came across were White-fronted (44)...


Next came Pink-footed (50)...
 
 
...and then the Tundra Bean Geese (7)...
 
 
A wonderful afternoon in the winter sunshine. On y return walk I bumped into another Yorkshire stalwart Karl Dutton. More Happy New Years and then home for the Merseyside Derby...
 
 

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Slooow Birding

I made it down Snakey pre-dawn and the first significant sighting was...
 
One of 3 Fieldfares

Then the main reason for the choice of venue fortunately appeared... 


I watched the bird for around 15 minutes hunting the ditches at close quarters. Great bird....great start!

Barn Owl
Access to the coast was difficult due to a fishing match so I made my way down to Easington straight to try for some Geese. No luck for me but I did connect with 14 Whooper Swans...


They don't look quite as regal in the stubble!

I spent the last hour down at Welwick. No Hen Harriers but a single male Marsh and a couple of SEO's made the visit worth while...


 
Nice and steady...don't want to peak to soon!
 



Friday, 3 January 2020

2020 - Time to get Cracking!

Topped up the holiday fund, so now it's time to play! No real plan, just a mooch around the Village and Patch to see what I might see and get the numbers rolling. There's been an influx of Wildfowl, possibly/certainly lingering due to the amount of water present at the moment. Be nice to find something in the Village.

Having totted up my totals for 2019 I've been looking at potential additions to my Holmpton List which stands at a modest 168. Just for a bit of fun I'm going to list TEN possible additions for this year and see how many come to fruition...

Pochard
Red-breasted Merganser
Greenshank
Green Sandpiper
Glaucous Gull
Turtle Dove
Kingfisher
Black Redstart
Firecrest
Pallas's Warbler

We will see...or not!

Forecast looks great for tomorrow. Can't wait...

VERY encouraging news regarding Barn Owls. I've had  FIVE incidental sightings at various local sites already this year!!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

End of a Decade

I decided to finish off with a trip to were it all started...well nearly!

I arrived at NDC around 9 yesterday and was greeted with bright sunshine and still conditions...if a little nippy. PLENTY of water...unsurprisingly. Actually too much! The depth not being conducive to Wildfowl...

An unexpected feature this Winter...hay islands1

Still, I had a pleasant hour watching the comings and goings. I dug out a few winter thrushes amongst the hawthorns...

Fieldfare
Redwing
The sound of distant Whooper Swans drifting across the river from Bubwith Ings was a constant feature. Just wonderful...

View over the river from the Geoff Smith Hide 
I was chuffed to pick out the reported 2 male Scaup on Bubwith Ings. The temperature had risen slightly (0 - 4C!) by 11 so I decided to have a walk up the river from Bubwith with Bud. I walked around 600 yds...then there they were...


For me ...there couldn't be a better setting for these noble birds. I am biased! Returning year after year since time immemorial to this natural landscape. Bliss...


Encouragingly there were many family parties present. I estimated around 30% of the c120 present...


I got lucky when 2 birds drifted over towards the river...


I couldn't find the reported Bewick's Swans (2) but somehow that seemed incidental. Just the perfect Birding scenario to end the Decade. Here's to the next one...


Monday, 30 December 2019

2019 - Review

Not another review, I hear you cry!

Yep.

You may have noticed I keep my own Blog List. They obviously vary in content and direction. That's the way it should be. So, I've been thinking over the Christmas break...dangerous I know. Quality family time is paramount for me, hence the lack of posts...and Birding! All visiting and socialising is now done (we don't do New Year's Eve) so it's now time to look back on the Year.

German Shepherds...what a surprise! My sons though. Mia and Mylo.

Spiderman was always my favourite!
As I come to the end of my tenth year of blogging I'm happy to continue to provide something of interest...hopefully. If you've followed my ramblings for any length of time you've no doubt got a pretty good idea of my position on many aspects of our hobby by now! I've seen a LOT of change over 30 plus years but  won't dwell on that as I'm trying to be cheerful here. How thin can you split a Yellow Wagtail!!!

I see my Blog as a mixture of casual comment, diary type entries and (hopefully) some sharing of information. It doesn't have to follow any particular path...does it? Hopefully it's not too self-centred! I like to think I include the reader?

Lists ARE important to most of us...BUT they're not the "be all and end all". If I go, I go full steam...but as you know, I have "let birds go"...and I'm glad to do so. I've also admitted some hypocrisy and poor ID!

The main thing is to ENJOY what you do...and I certainly do that...although dipping does sting!

My trips to my beloved Texas and the UAE were very enjoyable, in very different ways. The latter benefitted greatly from increased familiarity. I have no regrets (well maybe one) from my unsuccessful adventure to Papa Westray. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and challenge also knowing I may get another chance?

I don't usually do this...BUT I guess it's quite important to me!

List additions...

Holmpton 167
Barnacle Goose
Caspian Gull
Hawfinch...in my garden for 2 days!

Duff 157
Sanderling
Wood Sandpiper

Yorkshire 391
Little Crake
Pacific Swift
Red-billed Chough
Baikal Teal?

Britain 520
Tengmalm's Owl
Brown Booby
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Pacific Swift
Hermit Thrush
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Paddyfield Pipit?

My bird of the year?
After much deliberation I choose...and I didn't even get in the car!!!


2020...bring it ON!


Monday, 23 December 2019

Autumn 19 - Review

BROWN BOOBY - Kynance Cove, Cornwall 3/9
Red-billed Chough (Yorks tick) - Victoria Cave, North Yorkshire 7/9
Little Crake - (Yorks tick) Blacktoft Sands, North Yorkshire 17/9
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL - Cemlyn NWWT, Anglesey 26/9
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO - Lower Moors, St Mary's, IOS 16/10
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK - (2nd record) Cricket Pitch Area, St Martin's, IOS 16/10
BLUE ROCK THRUSH - (Scilly tick) Penninis Head, St Mary's, IOS 17/10
HERMIT THRUSH - Kitty Down, St Mary's, IOS 29/10
Surf Scoter - (Scilly tick) Porthloo Bay, St Mary's, IOS 29/10
Red-billed Chough - (Scilly tick) Old Town Bay, St Mary's, IOS 29/10

Throw in my trip to Dubai and my botched attempt at the STELLER'S EIDER and it's been quite an Autumn. No wonder I'm knackered! To "grip back" YBC and HT was EXTREMELY SWEET!!! I have no regrets whatsoever regrading my trip to Orkney. I loved the challenge of my solo adventure to the Northern Isles. My strategy was sound. I just had bad luck with the weather and my limited duck ID! However, I feel the story isn't over. As you say Steve Smith..."the fat lady hasn't sung yet"?

A quick acknowledgement regarding my Wife and car (definitely in that order) lol! I know I harp on about this but Louise's tolerence is FULLY appreciated and the old V70 is an extremely comfortable...beast!

So, have a great Christmas (I do like it) and a bird-filled New Year...

Friday, 20 December 2019

STEPPE down

It seems we can no longer count STEPPE GREY SHRIKE. Dutifully removed from my British List...520

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Duff'

Three hours sat in the Geoff Smith Hide from 10 till 1. 36 species recorded. The most noteworthy bird was an adult Mediterranean Gull (D.79) which was seen briefly within the first 5 minutes! As I sorted my camera out, I took another look through my scope...of course, it wasn't there! I fired a few shots off "blind" through the gloom...and got lucky. It wasn't seen again.


I'll have to check my records on the old faithful but I reckon I can count on one hand the number of sightings I've had here, so obviously pleased with this occurrence.  The other spectacle that remains in the memory is the regular movement of c500 Lapwings over the site throughout my stay. Wonderful!

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

UAE - Trip List - November 2019

I feel it's time to conclude my report now, so below is my list from November 19. I enjoyed the Birding more this time mainly due to being more familiar with the Country. The driving was "interesting", especially the first week when I took...and picked Robert up, from work in...shall we say "busy" Dubai traffic!!! The balance between Birding, Blogging and Socializing is always a precarious one but everyone is still talking to me...as far as I know! Once again I can't thank this lady enough...


I love building a list (you've probably noticed that) and with the help of eBird and Google Maps I wasted far less time accessing Sites on this visit. The help given by Tommy Pederson and Oscar Campbell was invaluable and I would like to thank you again here. As stated (almost certainly too many times before) I prefer gradual increases in new birds rather than a flood which I find overwhelming. The UAE has just such a bird list, some familiar, some less so.

I still have some ID challenges to conquer (it's not just on Orkney that I struggle). Duos that spring to mind are...

Indian Pond Heron/ Squacco Heron
Great Egret/Intermediate Egret
Long-billed Pipit/Tawny Pipit

I AM improving though, with Tommy and Oscar's help! All species below are Cat A, B or C on the UAE List, although there are some grey areas with introduced birds around the Al Qudra area.

My sightings (UAE ticks in bold)

Egyptian Goose
Shoveler
Mallard
Teal
Pochard
Ferruginous Duck
Grey Francolin
Little Grebe
Greater Flamingo
Greater Cormorant
SOCOTRA CORMORANT - seen well at Khor Kalba Harbour.
Grey Heron
Great Egret
INTERMEDIATE EGRET
Little Egret
Western Reef Heron
Cattle Egret
Squacco Heron
Striated Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Glossy Ibis
Spoonbill
Osprey
Egyptian Vulture - 8 seen at Jebel Hafit including a fly-by of 6 in a line, over my head at a car park!
Greater-Spotted Eagle - Hard to miss at RAK
Bonelli's Eagle - my mis-identified Short-toed Snake Eagle! It was brief and very high as we drove into Fujairah. Thanks for the UAE tick Oscar!
Marsh Harrier
Pallid Harrier - Beautiful male flew over the car on the D63 on the way to Al Qudra
Moorhen
Coot
Black-winged Stilt
Avocet
Oystercatcher
Grey Plover
Red-wattled Lapwing
SOCIABLE LAPWING - birds found at Hamrinayah Fields and Wamm Farms. 2 top moments after thinking I was going to miss out.
WHITE-TAILED LAPWING - 2 at Al Wathba Wetlands, another couple found at Expo Lakes
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
CASPIAN PLOVER - a single seen at Hamrinayah Fields
Kentish Plover
LRP
Ringed Plover
Whimbrel
Curlew
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Turnstone
Ruff
Curlew Sandpiper
Temminck's Stint
Little Stint
Sanderling
Dunlin
Jack Snipe
Snipe
Terek Sandpiper - An impressive TEN birds seen well at Khor Al Beida
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Spotted Redshank
Redshank
Greenshank
CREAM COLOURED COURSER - finally connected with great views of a single bird running around at Al Qudra with the Sandgrouse.
Slender-billed Gull
Black-headed Gull
SOOTY GULL - max count of 42 at Khor Kalba Harbour
PALLAS'S GULL - close views at RAK
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Steppe and Heuglin's)
Gull-billed Tern
Common Tern
WHITE-CHEEKED TERN - 3 scoped at Khor Kalba Harbour
Sandwich Tern
Lesser-crested Tern
Greater-crested Tern - 6 see n at Khor Kalba Harbour
SAUNDER'S/LITTLE TERN - One bird came into roost at Expo Lakes! Also seen at Khor Kalba harbour and Umm Al Quwain.
PIN-TAILED SANDGROUSE- introduced BUT very smart. Al Qudra.
CHESNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE - many skittish and elusive groups at Al Qudra.
Rock Pigeon
Collared Dove
Laughing Dove
NAMAQUA DOVE - Chuffed to finally find a single bird at Expo Lakes after many attempts.
Pallid Swift
Hoopoe
Kingfisher
Little Green Bee-eater
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER - lucky to find a late migrant at Love Lakes, Al Qudra.
Indian Roller
Kestrel
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Isabelline Shrike (Daurian)
Great Grey Shrike (Arabian)
House Crow
Brown-necked Raven
Common Myna
Bank Myna - my only sighting was of 2 birds at Hamrinayah Fields.
Greater Hoopoe Lark - pleased to find a single of this enigmatic species in the Bab Al Sham Desert.
Desert Lark - A flock of at least 40 birds at the entrance to Masafi Wadi.
Short-toed Lark
BIMACULATED LARK - arguably my best find and view of the trip. A single right by the car for 10 minutes at Al Qudra. Magic!!!
Skylark
Crested Lark
Pale Crag Martin
Swallow
White-spectacled Bulbul
White-eared Bulbul
Chiffchaff
PLAIN LEAF WARBLER - my best view of the smallest Phyllosc at Masafi Wadi.
Graceful Prinia
Bluethroat - One appeared put of nowhere along the track at Khor Al Beida. Yet another memorable moment!
Black Redstart
WHITE-CROWNED BLACK WHEATEAR - Nice to add this MEGA at Al Jaroof Village. 14th record for the UAE
Hume's Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
Purple Sunbird
Tawny Pipit - seen well at Wamm Farms
Water Pipit
Red-throated Pipit
Citrine Wagtail - 2 seen at Hamrinayah Fields
White Wagtail
Western Yellow Wagtail
MASKED WAGTAIL- seen well at Wamm Farms
Grey Wagtail - a single bird at Wadi Helo, Fujairah.
Striolated Bunting - Jebel Hafit
House Sparrow
Indian Silverbill

Misses/Not tried for (Lifers in capitals) - aka Next Year's Targets!

Garganey
Pintail
Tufted Duck
Chukar
Eared Grebe
Persian Shearwater
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE - looked a long time at Al Qudra but nothing appeared.
Sparrowhawk
Black Kite
Long-legged Buzzard
Pacific Golden Plover
Great Knot
PIN-TAILED SNIPE - studied many possible/probables
Caspian Tern
White-winged Tern
Whiskered Tern
LICHTENSTEIN'S SANDGROUSE - I didn't specifically target this very elusive species. Maybe next time?
Little Owl
Wryneck
SHIKRA
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET - Should have seen
Starling
Rose-coloured Starling
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
CLAMOUROUS REED WARBLER - should have seen.
MENETRIES WARBLER
ARABIAN BABBLER - I looked hard for this bird but couldn't find one.
Blue Rock Thrush
Song Thrush
Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat
Richard's Pipit
LONG-BILLED PIPIT

Not seen this year

Gadwall
Wigeon
Sand Partridge
Crab Plover - tides didn't permit views on my visits
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Bridled Tern
Pallid Scops Owl
Pharoah Eagle Owl
ARABIAN COLLARED KINGFISHER
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark
Scrub Warbler
Asian Desert Warbler
Red-tailed Wheatear

Give or take a late adjustment I managed 128 species this trip which takes my UAE List to 145...I think!

Final thoughts
So, my second trip to the UAE, an area I would never have considered to be a possible Birding destination. However, with a bit of  foresight one can cobble together a more than decent Birding experience. Heat will always be a problem for yours truly  and "winter" is still pushing 30C. Still, it beats what Blighty has to offer and I'm VERY fortunate to have the opportunity to travel. The future is promised to no-one but all things being well, I hope to return to see Robert in January 2021. Fortunately, he's decided to come back for Christmas which is a big bonus. I hope you found something of interest in this report and maybe you'll consider a visit in the future? All posts can be found under Labels...UAE 19. There are some great birds out there...

Roll on Texas...April 11th...

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

UAE Review (5) - North West

Sites visited

Hamrinayah Fields
I visited this area three times, trying to get more familiar with the area, as many others come to that. In such an arid environment you are obviously looking for mini-oasis which will attract birds. The main habitat that fits the bill is turf farms. These sprinkler fed areas can provide some great Birding.




Little Green Bee-eater


 
Caspian Plover


Sociable Lapwing
 
Bank Myna
Citrine Wagtail

Umm Al Quwain - Khor Al Beida
I didn't connect with the star bird here this visit, namely CRAB PLOVER. As I'd seen this superb bird well last year, I didn't coincide my visit with the optimum tide time. I still saw some "good stuff" here though. My best encounter was with this Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike...


This bird sat motionless,, appearing to just be enjoying the sunshine. Another was seen later...



Another Shrike sp (Southern Grey)...kept its distance...


I also had great...if brief views of Bluethroat here...my UAE tick...




My only Osprey of the trip was seen here...into a blazing sun...


...a good time to post a few Greater Flamingo pics. A thankfully common bird here...




Sunday, 15 December 2019

UAE Review (4) - North East

I don't want to drag this on too long but I think it's worth while giving a flavour of the other area we spent time in. We based ourselves in Fujairah at the superb Royal M Hotel.  5 star half board for £45pp. Very nice! Many thanks to Robert and Laura for putting us up for two weeks and lending us their Jeep.

Fujairah Sites
Fujairah Port Beach and Corniche
Khor Kalba Harbour
Khor Kalba Bridge
Khor Kalba Artificial Inlet
Wadi Ham Dam


Al Haray WWT Fujairah
Wadi Hayl
Wadi Helo
 
OK...trying hard not to repeat what was already posted in my diary. The above sites were all visited, some on more than one occasion. The tidal surge that had hit the coastline recently made navigating the Kalba area...interesting! Major road works were in place rebuilding the seawall and adjacent road system.

I can show a girl a good time!!!
My hide...

It was needed
The view
Kalba harbour turned out to be my favourite spot. Not least because of this special bird...

Sooty Gull
I admit I did overegg my time with this species but I admit to being captivated by it...

My maximum count in the Kalba Harbour area was 42 birds
It is a cracker though...for a Gull!




Socotra Cormorants were also present in small numbers.





A decent selection of Gulls and Terns including Lesser and Greater Crested...


I did have a couple of tries for the ARABIAN COLLARED KINGFISHER from the bridge but I couldn't find it...



However, I did see "our" Kingfisher...


MAJOR find last year (any excuse to post my pic again lol!)



I also bumped into Musa, the guard on the bridge who I'd met 12 months earlier. Nice to see him again...


Other Major Sites visited in the NE

Wamm Farms


Really pleased to actually access this site after last year's failure. I spent an enjoyable 4 hours here on the November 26th. The big moment was obviously finding a SOCIABLE LAPWING...


Top moment!
I took plenty of puzzling Pipit pics but as I write, I don't have a confirmed LONG-BILLED PIPIT. Plenty of Tawny images though. More to learn.

First light...


Shortly after...


Later...


This site provided me with my only quality view of Graceful Prinia...


I'll be back!

Another top Birding site is Masafi Wadi...




 
I spent some time here last year. My main target here was  PLAIN LEAF WARBLER and I'm glad to report I saw one ...well. No pic...maybe next time? No luck with Scrub Warbler this trip. Hume's Wheatear is always apparent here...
 
 
Last word has to be here...