I finally got a few better images of one of my favourite birds, the Barred Warbler. This pair were hopping in and out of the cover of a bush onto these metal rods to hawk insects. The male can have yellow or darker eyes, as is the case with this bird. It also has heavier barring on the breast as compared to the paler female below
Female Barred Warbler
A Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin in soft early morning light
I was not sure of the I.D. of this Shrike. Neil Morris assisted in this regard. It is a fledgling Arabian Grey Shrike yet to acquire its juvenile plumage. The pale brown fringes to the greater coverts and tertials are a good indicator in this regard
There seemed to be quite a few Corn Buntings on offer today. Here one perches obligingly out in the open for me
I came across this Thrush hopping around hawking insects on an open piece of ground adjacent to one of the fields. It managed to catch a fat juicy caterpillar and devour it in the short time that I watched it
Rufous-tailed rock Thrush hopping around on the ground
Having devoured the caterpillar it then flew up onto this lookout bush
I have heard about cross-bred Bulbuls and read about them in the literature. I was finally fortunate enough to capture what I think is an image of such an a bird to add to my collection. I include images of the White-eared and Red-vented Bulbul for comparative purposes.
The cross-bred bird with the prominent crest of a Red-vented Bulbul, a faint white ear patch, and a bit of orange in the vent
I am particularly pleased with this B.I.F. sequence of images I managed to capture of this juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron the other morning
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
The temperatures are starting to climb now as we move towards Summer. I get to the patch as early as possible so as to enjoy the morning's birding before it becomes too warm.
I managed to catch this Grey Francolin perched on a rock as it warmed itself up in the early morning sun
The Common Pochard is becoming quite relaxed now as it also warms itself in the early morning sun
I think this Western Reef Heron overnighted here. It preened itself for a while and then took off in the direction of the coast
This is the first Wood Sandpiper I have seen here since I last had a record of one in September of 2014.
The calls of these resident Indian Reed Warblers can be heard constantly from the cover of the reeds which grow on the edges of the ponds. This one popped out into the open long enough for me to take a few images
I got a fleeting glance of this Red-backed Shrike before it flew off. Checking my records I last saw one here in June of 2014. There have been other recent sightings at birding spots in Qatar recently by other birders as they move through on their migration
Last but not least there were some more Red-throated Pipits feeding busily to build up their strength before moving on
One hears the almost constant calling of these birds, but it is always from inside the cover of the pastures. I have only occasionally seen them out in the open. Here I came across a bird busy having a sand bath on the edge of the road but still close to the cover of the grass. Go to an entry on the 31/08/2015 to see a similar interaction
Common quail. Note the depression it had made in the sand
After reading the local email reports on sightings over the weekend I drove out to the farm to see what I could connect with. It was an overcast morning so the lighting was not ideal, as can be seen in the images. Despite this there was still plenty on offer
There was a small flock of Collared Pratincoles resting on one of the open areas.
This Whinchat flew out of one of the fields and landed on the road so as to deal with this juicy insect it had caught
There were several Namaqua Doves present. Here a male poses for me
This Barred Warbler was flitting from bush to bush in the Wadi, giving me the complete run around. On top of that it would not show itself properly so I had to be content with this partly obscured image of it.
I came across a single European Turtle Dove which allowed me a few frames and then took off
I did not connect with the Red-backed shrikes seen by other birders but there were still good numbers of Daurian and Turkestan Shrikes on offer
My first Spotted Flycatcher of the season. I sat and watched as it used this branch to hawk insects from
There were three Red-wattled Lapwings to be seen
I do not have many images of male harriers and the ones I have are of Pallid Harriers. For some reason we seem to have more female birds passing through here. I think this one is a male Monatagu's Harrier given the amount of black in the primaries. If this is the case it is my first image of a male of this species and a welcome addition to my collection.
Male Montagu's Harrier
Some additional images from recent outings.
Portrait of a Grey Francolin from the local patch
A Eurasian Curlew giving me the beady eye
A pair of Mallard type ducks. I wonder if they will also breed?
The Common Pochard is still in the house. It seems to be settling in nicely. Here I found it sunning itself on the rocks
This Common Kestrel flew past overhead allowing me to catch this B.I.F. shot
A Collared Dove incubated eggs on the nest