The field guide calls this bird a common passage migrant and winter visitor. This however is only my second sighting of the bird here in Qatar and my first photograph of one in over two years of trying. The bird popped into view on some rocks whilst I was sitting quietly watching the Owls
Conditions were not ideal the other morning with the low light and mist playing havoc with focussing and image quality. Despite that it was good to be back on the farm after a break for a bit of travel over the year end. I was not in a birding destination so unfortunately no interesting images like to post. Below the farm the number of storage dams is increasing. Perhaps this is the water from drained Abu Nakhla ponds being diverted here? Reeds are starting to grow and it bodes well for attracting more species. Already the Cormorants, Flamingos, Black-winged Stilts, Grebes and some of the Duck species are to be seen in numbers
Marsh Harrier female
Arabian Grey Shrike
European Stonechat male
I drove down to spend some time watching the proceedings at the Falcon Festival. I was fortunate enough to observe one of the falcons successfully chase down a homing pigeon. It caused much excitement amongst the spectators as it happened in the sky above the hospitality area.
A hooded falcon waits patiently to join the action
Here a Falcon closes in on the Homing Pigeon and is about to knock it out of the sky
The Falcon came to rest on top of one of the hospitality tents. It was enticed back to ground by its handler swinging another pigeon on the end of a lure. The Falcon swooped down and caught this pigeon as well.
Here the handler gently entices the Falcon back onto his arm
The bird is rewarded for its efforts
Spectators gather around. Everybody loves a winner
When I first arrived in Qatar I came across a Lilith Owl sitting on top of a wall, so every time I drive past this spot I check it out to see if it is there. Ever since there has been no repeat siting so I thought it was just one of those random connections. So imagine my surprise when I see an owl perched on the wall again. I manage a few images and then it disappears from sight. I drive around thinking it has dropped off the edge and out of view. As I am doing this all of a sudden it appears on top of the wall again. Now it dawns on me. It has a burrow in the wall.
I spot the Owl on top of the wall. As I approach closer it disappears
Later up it pops up to have a look around
I reposition myself so I have a better view of the burrow entrance
It checks to see if the coast is clear
It hops up onto the wall again where it has a better view of the surrounding area