Monday, 20 September 2010
SHARM POOLS (MORNING VISIT)
After a successful evening trip I was back the next morning nice and early to try for the other two species of Sandgrouse. Just like the night before the White Storks were everywhere, in massive numbers. It was a truly astonishing sight. They were joined by a handful of Little Egrets and a couple of Grey Herons, and then a nice flock of Glossy Ibis flew in. The same waders from yesterday were joined by Common Snipes, Wood Sandpipers and Spotted Redshanks. The swallows from yesterday had this morning been replaced by a new bird for me, ROCK MARTINS. No Terns were around this time, but a single Lesser Black Backed Gull was the first gull of my trip. And then I heard a sound from behind me that I instantly recognised, as I'd studied it long and hard before I came away! I swung round to see a small flock of CROWNED SANDGROUSE fly in and settle on one of the far pools. I was delighted. And then a bigger flock came in from a different angle and settled at a different pool. Three more landed on a third different pool. This was ridiculous! They were meant to be extremely hard to catch up with, and yet I was seeing them all over the place. But, as I studied the biggest flock through my scope I got an even better surprise! There was actually three SPOTTED SANDGROUSE in with them. As happy as I was, it actually got very frustrating very quickly. All these birds were EXTREMELY flighty, and were up and down all the time, for seemingly no reason most of the time. But I certainly wasnt complaining, I'd seen all three species relatively easily and at the first attempt. The only raptors seen today were Black Kites, and at one point there were six in the air at the same time. As I had a little longer to explore this morning, I decided to have a walk around the overflow pond to see what was around there. The commonest bird was Yellow Wagtail, about 20 of them were scattered around the area. A pair of Red Backed Shrike were perched on a telegraph pole. 3 or 4 Whinchats were seen, as was a pair of Willow Warblers. In the reed area, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers were mainly heard, and occasionally seen flitting about, and then a lovely Great Reed Warbler showed itself and started to sing in full view giving excellent views. Unfortunately my taxi came all too quickly and put an end to an excellent mornings birding.