Another night, another boot. The golf course had flames licking round the edges rather nicely on arrival; my old friend, that Whiskered Tern had pulled in two more marsh terns tonight and one was a marvellous, neat juvenile White-winged that gave terrific views; only my 5th ever locally and not one I was sure I would get on the current campaign. Soon after that, I turned to find a Hobby steaming across the lake towards me, then for it to settle on the closest large boulder and give the best (i.e. most static) view I have ever had of the species; here in the Emirates they are usually hyper-kinetic. It was my 15th in 6 years here on AD and, marginally, my earliest ever in the autumn. As if that wasn’t enough, a long-awaited pratincole also materialised, an easy juvenile Collared giving great close-ups and nice, instructive flight views. The only fly in the ointment (or date in the chocolates, to introduce some local flavour) was a glimpse of a crake, seemingly – but not certainly - a snapper, crashing into the reedbed. A 45-minute stake-out produced Purple Herons, both bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtail, Clamorous Reed and a Turkestan Shrike and two wonderfully spotty Jiffy-jiffies striding round on the fairways (Chris – take note, if you are still with us) but no crake. So that is tomorrow’s project, with reinforcements called and tapes ready. Would it be fair to say you’ll be joining me in hoping that, if it is a snapper, it isn’t a bloody Baillon’s, Nick?!
Total so far - 180 (102%)
Last additions – White-winged Tern, Hobby and Collared Pratincole (19th September)