Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Festival update - day 6 - Lesser Sand-plover!

I spent the morning doing non-birding stuff. After lunch I led a nightjar tour. We began with a quick look at the putative Lesser Sand-plover at KM20. To me this is the bird of the festival. Of course it is not an easy bird to identify, but to my eyes & knowledge this seems like a good candidate for atrifrons. In the field the bird really struck me as being different from all the petite Greater sands I had ever seen. Even though the bill is rather on the long side for atrifrons, I think it is still within the normal variation of this form. More details such as the state of wear and no advance in summer plumage, leg colour and wing pattern fit well. Unfortunately I had only my 400 mm lens with me, hence the crap images. Hopefully it sticks around for tomorrow morning when I will try to get better shots.

With Kentish Plover:

Showing its wingbars:

After that we had a good search for Arabian Warblers at Shezaf reserve, but only I managed brief views of a newly-fledged juvenile. Other local species showed well however.
We ended the day with a breathtaking performance of Nubian Nightjars - calling, displaying, foraging, all in a magical moonlit night in the desert. This performance was complimented by a close encounter with a Wild Cat!

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