Jazirat bin Ghanim and Fuwairit Beach 31-01-20
We drove up the west coast of Qatar to visit Fuwairit Beach. Turtles come ashore here in the breeding season, but today we were just in search of an alternative place for a Friday walk. Friday’s are a good day to be out and about, because the roads are generally quite. You just need to be home before dusk, as the driving can be more than usually eratic at that time.
Like many locations in Qatar, you must leave the metalled road and head out over rougher ground to get onto the beach. We avoided the busier stretches (it’s a long beach) and settled for a quieter section with beautiful views out over the shallow sea.
The sea’s colour is a pale green-blue and lightens gradually as it nears the shore.
Shells Not Sand
The sand feels rough under your feet. This is because rather than grains of sand, the beach is actually made from millions of tiny shells.
There were very few people about and the air was completely still. The temperature was a warm 22 centigrade.
As we arrived I spotted this bird patrolling the water’s edge. I fairly confident this is a Sanderling, but I’m open to alternative suggestions.
A Flock of Little Terns Takes Wing
Running along the coast near Al Khor are mangrove areas, which reportedly harbour flamingos. We had not been to look before, so we drove down to Purple Island.
There are extensive mangroves here, and a duckboard run over some of the small channels and takes you to what is known as Purple Island. As we walked off the wooden structure we were able to see a line of flamingos in the far distance (top image).
As you’d expect, there are a lot of egrets and herons in the mangroves.
Our first sighting with this beauty, a Little Egret (white Morph) which came flapping across. There aren’t many birds which have such dramatically different variants. The Little Egret comes in a grey and white variety. The white morph is distinguished from the larger Western Great Egret by its yellow not black beak.
Western Great Egret
This Western Great Egret was stalking through the mangroves. They are large birds and like all herons and egrets are master fishers. They stalk their prey and then dart their long neck and sharp beak to capture small fish.
Little Egret (Grey Morph) Fishing
Bird List 31, January 2020
Western Great Egret, Little Egret (grey and White), Grey Heron, Sanderling, Common Gull, Little Tern, Flamingo.