Some good birds were recorded this week. All in all a pleasant morning out in the field
A smart looking European Bee-eater. A single bird was present, my first record of this species for the season
I found three Common Ringed Plovers feeding at the grass nursery area
At one of the small dams I flushed five juveniles and one adult Black-crowned Night-herons that were resting up in the shade of some reeds
There was a single Little Grebe present on one of the dams. I am surprised that more of these birds do not visit this spot.
A Spotted Flycatcher hawking insects from this metal fence post. One of two birds seen today.
A ruff busy feeding in the shallows of this pond
A Whimbrel keeps a close eye on me as I try and get closer for more images
As I was watching this Roller it swooped down and caught this locust on the road. It flicked it into the air to get a better grip of it and then flew back up to the overhead cable where it was quickly despatched
European Roller with locust it has just caught
Flicking locust into the air to get a better grip of it
Finally it has it head first in the beak
It takes off to fly back up to where it was perching on the overhead cable
After making short work of that one it is on the look out for more
Another mornings birding on the farm produced some good results. The highlight was a sighting of four juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings. I had only previously recorded a single adult male bird of this species in May 2014
Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
Western Marsh Harrier
Female Pied Wheatear
Arabian Grey shrike
Female/Juvenile Daurian Shrike
Indian Reed Warbler
A flock of Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters was passing through. They were using the overhead lines to roost on and as a launch pad for feeding sorties.
Here a bird lands on the wire having just caught a large grasshopper
After despatching it attempts to turn around and face the other way
After a bit of a struggle it finally gets it right
Peter and Paul happily settled on the cable
I drove out to the farm this morning to see what I could find. The highlight of the trip was a Caspian Plover which I saw in the presence of a few Cream-coloured Coursers. These Plovers are listed as rare birds in Qatar and I have only previously seen one here before, a juvenile back in September 2013.
Caspian Plover, a rare Autumn migrant
Female Montagu's Harrier
Also seen was a large flock of Ruff feeding in one of the fields. They were at some distance so I could not get any worthwhile images. It was good to observe them in healthy numbers though.
After a bit of travelling we are back in Doha so I was keen to visit the local patch to see if there were any signs of migration activity.
Lesser Sand Plover
Cream-coloured Courser. One of six birds seen
Collared Pratincole. There was a small flock of about eight to ten birds present
A young male Namaqua Dove with the sun catching the wing panels
An Arabian Grey Shrike on the look out for a meal
One often hears these birds calling loudly from within the cover of the reeds but does not catch sight of them. So it was a pleasant surprise to come across a party feeding in a small stand of reeds. They were quite content to go about their business as I sat and watched them. The was a lot of calling, chasing, and squabbling over food items as they hopped in and out of the cover. I even observed a bird collecting nesting material.
Indian Reed Warbler with nesting material
A Warbler on the look-out for insects in the reeds
A Warbler hops out of the cover of the reeds onto the sill of the reservoir
With this heat the birds have to drink on a regular basis. I found an area on the farm where a puddle had been created from an overflow out of one of the storage dams. I decide to park and wait to see what flew in to drink
A pair of Little Ringed Plovers spent some time feeding at the spot
A flock of Indian Silverbills made a quick appearance
An Isabelline Wheatear suddenly appeared and hopped around to check the coast was clear before having a drink. It stayed for a while and later another bird joined it
There are an abundance of Black-crowned Sparrow-larks to be seen at the moment. Here a male bird arrives at the water's edge
Followed shortly by a female bird
Trying to get some sharp images when you are hand holding and tracking with a 500mm lense does present some challenges. I end up binning almost all of my attempts for being too O.O.F. Here are a few that I will keep.
Eurasian Hoopoe. This bird had just caught a large beetle (obscured) and it flew off a few metres before starting the process of ingesting it.
A pair of Mallard type males flying past
A Great Cormorant flying in the opposite direction
A Western Reef Heron on take -off