Tuesday 4 July 2017

Birding in my Grandparents' House, Near Dubai (mostly silhouettes!)

2nd-16th April 2017
These photos were taken within the time that I was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates mostly at my Grandparents' house (Sorry that the birds are silhouettes. I was taking the pictures from a bedroom window at 9 am in 35 degree heat!).
 A Collared Dove perches outside a neighbour's garden

 A House Crow sits in a garden tree

 A silhouette of my first Arabian Babbler  

 Two Common Mynas in the same spot as the Collared Dove

 My first Red-vented Bulbul in the SAME SPOT as the Dove and the Mynas!

 Two strangely- named Laughing Doves find a comfortable perch in the misty morning 

I also saw House sparrows, Red-wattled Lapwings, Indian Silverbills, Ring-necked Parakeets and of course, Town Pigeons during my trip.

Monday 3 July 2017

Visit to Ras-Al-Khor

10th April 2017
In the Easter holidays, I paid our annual visit to Dubai, where we met family. I had been waiting for two years to come to the great Ras-Al-Khor Nature Reserve, a freshwater wetland with thousands of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. This year, we finally went. 

Two Lesser Flamingos wading beside a fallen tree

 Kentish Plovers- they are scarce in Britain

My first Little Ringed Plover

A Little Egret stands by the bank

I have only ever seen Black-winged Stilts in captivity- this was a real treat

A Collared Dove rests in a tree

 A picture with two 'first' species: Thanks to a long-range scope in our hide, I saw my first Gull-billed Terns. also, it was only after I took this photo did I realise that one interesting-looking Flamingo was my first Spoonbill!

After an amazing time at this hide, I drove for five minutes to the next hide, where many different species appeared.

 While driving to the next hide, I took this horrible photo of my first Great Egret

 Try counting!

Greater Flamingos flying gracefully over the salt marsh

A Golden Plover

My first Western Reef Heron. Along with the Great Cormorant, these are the only two Cormorant species I have ever seen.

I will hopefully create a post about the birds I saw frequently my Grandparents' house in Dubai.

Saturday 1 July 2017

Trip to North Norfolk

(This is my first post. Enjoy!)

17th November 2016

 We drove from our hotel in Heacham to RSPB Titchwell Marsh, a key breeding site for Avocets. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my tripod straight in the hide! Also, I apologise if the photos for this day weren't that great, as it was around 6pm!

The WORST (and only) photo of a Pheasant I have ever taken!

 A gaggle of Greylag Geese

Lapwing, Mallard, Teal and assorted Gull species resting on little islands

Luckily, we saw what we were looking for: Pink-footed Geese, or Pinkfeet. No Avocets!

18th November 2016
Today was the day where all the action happened. We woke up at 5am to see the Snettisham Spectacular, a sight where thousands of wading birds flit about as the tide comes in. We drove to RSPB Snettisham to watch it at 6am. It was freezing cold there, but I took some great shots of the action.

A calm North Sea, with lots of Shelduck grazing on the mudflats

A great view of preening Greylag Geese and Cormorants, from the Lagoon Hide

As the tide comes in, dozens of Knot, Dunlin, Little Stint, Sanderling and Common Sandpiper arrive

Thousands of birds arrived an hour later, with Oystercatchers and Curlews joining the fun and SANDERLING FLYING IN FRONT OF MY FACE!

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we returned to Titchwell for another enjoyable experience.

Pinkfeet grazing in a nearby field

      Brent Geese 

 Teal resting on the banks of the lake

 Look closely to see my first Snipe: it is a brown speck behind the Teal

 Many wildfowl species, resting, wading and drinking

A cute little Redshank trots past our hide

 A lucky, last minute shot of a Little Egret

As we left, I spotted a male Teal in the reeds

After lunch at the Lifeboat Inn, we visited Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve.

 An amazing glimpse of a Curlew

A Black-tailed Godwit on the mudflats 

Many Gulls flying over the coast

To end my expedition, we visited Holkham Marshes to see the Pinkfeet up close.

Outside this nationally protected field, I took this photo of resting Pinkfeet.

19th November 2016
Before we left for home in London, we stopped at Heacham Beach to view the North Sea one last time.

  A Turnstone waddles on the beach

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and continue to read further posts