Rarity or not? – Birding on the hottest day of this Summer

One of my Facebook friends, a brilliant bird photographer, E.J. Peiker gently ‘smiled’ on the temperature figures I shared on my wall today. He is living in Arizona which is an extremely hot region of the US. Today we had the hottest day of this summer and the measured temperature has broken a 120 years old record. Just shortly after the daily peak, 37-38˚C/98.6-100.4˚F I decided to make a challenge and went out for a short birding as some nice birds had been reported at the Ferencmajor fishponds.


Hungary’s heat map at 4PM today. I am living just 70km north of the smaller lake where the value shows 38. Image curtesy of http://koponyeg.hu

I only visited the the single mudflat which attracts the passing by shorebirds and other birds. A Whimbrel and a Little Tern, both are uncommon migrants in the region, was seen this afternoon but I could find none of them. This is the very short list of shorebirds I have observed:


Wood Sandpiper feeding in the shallow water. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Pied Avocet 2
Northern Lapwing 1
Little Ringed Plover 4
Common Snipe 3
Spotted Redshank 1
Common Redshank 1 (overflying high while calling)
Green Sandpiper 1
Wood Sandpiper 4
Common Sandpiper 2
Ruff 4
Dunlin 4
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Common Tern 25
Black Tern 4


Ruff is more numerous at the fishponds during spring migration. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I found a two ‘strange’ looking Western Yellow Wagtails which did not resemle to the nominate subspecies we have here during the breeding and non-breeding season. The adult bird had an all yellow underpart and head with some dirty yellow or tawny colour on the crown, cheek and hind neck. Other bird was apparently a juvenile bird having stronger markings on the head and also on the breast. I know little about the migration of Western Yellow Wagtail subspecies but these birds should belong to the ‘lutea‘ subspecies. Based on the images I found on the net I would rather vote for lutea as the bird lacks strong markings on the head. I appreciate any help of those who have information on the movements of lutea ssp.

Yellow Wagtail(lutea) male-راعية الخيل الصفراء-صعوة

This bird was identical to the bird I saw in front of me. Image was taken in the beginning of September in Quatar.


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