Outstanding shorebirding at the Arabian Sea tidal zone

One shorebird species I have been sought after for ages was the Crab Plover. I was told that this unique shorebird would be guaranteed during the excursion to the Marine Reserve National Park, Jamnagar. While the plan was to depart early in the morning some guest complained about too early wake up which resulted a quite late departure. Knowing that the tidal zone was best in the morning this delay disabled to watch Crab Plovers from a close distance.

Waiting

We were waiting endless minutes for our departure at the front of the hotel. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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The littoral zone was edged by a mangrove. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Crab-plover

Crab Plovers were feeding a hundred meter from us. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The sun was already quite high when we arrived to the beach. 4 stunning Brahminy Starlings was spotted next to the road before we stopped. We were kindly invited for a coffee at our arrival but we decided to go to the sandflat and look for the birds. The first thing I was browsing by the spotting scope were the broad white lines at the edge of the tideline. Those were large flock of Crab Plovers. That was a wonderful moment despite not really a satisfying view. When others arrived we were already into the dead coral reef and looked for new birds.

Seebed-walk

Balázs is walking on the wet tidal zone. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Deadcoral

Dead coral reef of the Arabian Sea. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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Lesser Sand Plovers did not care about us as long as we were sitting. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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We observed many territorial fight among Lesser Sand Plovers for feeding areas. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The most abundant shorebird species was the Lesser Sand Plover but Greater Sand Plovers were also frequently seen. Our target was to find a place where nobody disturb birds and sit down for just watching and photographing the birds. It was a fun indeed. By settling down birds came very close to us. Lights were really unpleasant and harsh bt we took some images of the approaching birds.

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Greater Sand Plovers were also moving around us. © Gyorgy Szimuly

From that spot we saw many shorebird species including Eurasian Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Terek Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper. Above us Gull-billed Terns, Lesser Crested Terns, Black-naped Terns and Caspian Terns were flying. 

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Western Reef Egrets was also closing us. © Gyorgy Szimuly

From the sitting point I could watch close Crab Plovers through the scope. What a bird it was. Some other birds provided nice view included Western Reef Egrets and Black-headed Ibises. Also an overflying Demoiselle Crane flock were seen.

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Mangrove

Single mangrove bushes was broken the uniform sand flat. © Gyorgy Szimuly

On our way back I saw a flock of Yellow-wattled Lapwing from the bus. In the late afternoon we made a short walk in the backyard of the hotel where some nice birds were seen. Grey Francolins were calling endlessly while sun was shining on Black Ibises. We saw a Black-shouldered Kite, Rufous Treepie, Ashy Drongo, Siberian Stonechat, our first Variable Wheatear, Desert Wheatear and some other common birds.

Hotel

The Hotel Express Residency served us kindly. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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