17 March 2013

Westwards to the coast: 17 March

Another day of driving so little time for birding. An hour or so early morning at Barrage al Mansour Ad-Dhabi, a large reservoir just east of Ouarzazate, produced huge variety of birds including a flock of c150 Trumpeter Finch, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Osprey, 1 Barbary Falcon, 2 Cream-coloured Courser, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2-3 Common Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, lots of Kentish Plover, 2 Marbled Duck, lots of Ruddy Shelduck, 1m Pintail, a pair of Common Teal, 8 Northern Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, several Mallard, several Great Crested Grebe, a few Coot, 9 Spoonbill, 1 Cattle Egret and lots of White Stork and Grey Heron.

Overhead, 2 European Bee-eater and 1 Tawny Pipit flew NE and Pallid Swift, a few Little Swift, several House Martin, many Sand Martin and 1 Red-rumped Swallow were also noted moving through. Migrant passerines on the deck included 1 Water Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, several White Wagtails and Short-toed Larks and a few Meadow Pipits. I'd love to spend a few days birding this site during migration.

Barrage al Mansour Ad-Dhabi is an Important Bird Area, with large numbers of Marbled Duck and Ruddy Shelduck

A picnic stop at a wadi in the Sous Valley produced 1 singing male Western Orphean Warbler, 1m Moussier's Redstart, and a few migrants including 1 Subalpine Warbler, 1 Common Nightingale, 1+m Common Redstart and 3 European Bee-eater overhead.

Common Nightingale

Common Redstart

Late afternoon and evening at the Sous Estuary produced 1 Peregrine, 1 Osprey, 17 Sandwich Tern, 2 Black-headed Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 21 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Spoonbill, 7-8 Little Egret, 6 Northern Shoveler, 1f Common Teal, 1m Sardinian Warbler, 2 Zitting Cisticola, and a good collection of waders: 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 2-3 Common Snipe, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 9+ Ringed Plover, 4+ Little Ringed Plover, 1 Avocet and c10 Black-winged Stilt. 2-3 Red-necked Nightjar flying around and resting on the track brought the day to an end.

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