Dec 29, 2018

GREAT CRESTED GREBE - Ras Al Khor 29.12.2018

2 comments

Edited: Dec 30, 2018

 

Can you see it? The barely perceptible white dot in the centre of the image was actually not much bigger in the 60x eyepiece of my scope! (Videograb at 83x zoom.)

Called in for my first visit to the newly reopened Lagoon Hide at RAKWS around midday today more out of curiosity than expectation. I'd heard the light can make it very difficult to see things well and birds can often be distant from this hide - and so it was to prove...

 

After about 15 minutes of disappointing looks at distant, milky waders, I panned left into the bay and immediately noticed what looked like an hunched juvenile Cormorant way in the distance. Dark upperparts and very white underneath, but too white. Gleaming white. It changed angle and the penny dropped - Great-crested Grebe. Common enough back in the UK, but very rare here (12 previous records, with the last, in 2004, being a corpse) and long overdue.

 

It took ages to be certain that this WAS a grebe - not only was the heat haze causing distortion, but the bird was over 1.5km away! Tommy scrambled with his two apprentices and joined Louise & I in the hide, by which time I was sure I'd seen a pink bill during one of its brief moments of activity. Stewart soon followed and, after adding the distant white dot to his list, suggested that the bird might be closer from elsewhere on the creek.

 

This was a great idea and we managed to catch the bird swimming (though still a good 1km distant) from the new creekside walkway at Al Jadaf. Views still weren't great though....

 

 

 

Dec 29, 2018

Congrats Mark! What a terrific spot!

Dec 31, 2018

Thant's really a great record, Mark!

Congratulations!

New Posts
  • After seeing so many Hume's, this bird was spotted this morning by my daughter Sarah. I had her on the lookout for a Hooded Wheatear as we drove through the wadi! It was hopping on and off the wall at the side of the road through the village. By now others have also seen it, so hopefully there should be a few more photos soon. Regards, Steve
  • I got a couple shots of this little guy below but I'm having a hard time identifying. Seems like a warbler of some kind. Seen flitting in the branches of acacia bushes picking small insects from the leaves. Photos don't quite show what seemed to be a fairly distinct bar across the eye. Thanks in advance for helping!
  • Had a fruitful Friday morning in RAK. Garganey - 20 Little Grebe - 4 Eurasian Collared-Dove - 6 Laughing Dove - 4 Namaqua Dove - 3 Pallid Swift - 10 Moorhen - 1 Black-winged Stilt - 10 Common Ringed Plover - 4 Whimbrel - 2 Little Stint - 2 Common Greenshank - 2 Wood Sandpiper - 1 Slender-billed Gull - 1 Grey Heron - 1 Purple Heron - 1 Cattle Egret - 4 Indian Pond-Heron - 1 Shikra - 1 Eurasian Hoopoe - 2 Common Kingfisher - 3 Green Bee-eater (Arabian) - 6 European Roller - 1 Indian Roller - 10 Clamorous Reed Warbler - 1 Pale Crag-Martin - 2 Barn Swallow - 2 White-eared Bulbul - 2 Common Myna - 2 Purple Sunbird - 4 Yellow-throated Sparrow - 2 White wagtail - 4

© 2018 Tommy Pedersen
Created with Wix.com