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
Mike Pope my good friend from Kuwait spent last weekend with us. It was good to catch up on each others news whilst also doing some birding together. I had also not been able to connect with the owls at the known sites on the farm for some time now. With Mike here we decided to go and have another look. As luck would have it we managed to locate the owl whose head feathers are falling out. It also had an infected eye earlier in the year. This looks much better again even if the feathers continue to moult. See posts of 3/02/2016 and 22/04/2016 for previous images. Despite all of this, it certainly has not lost its ability to hunt. Here it had caught what we think is a Lesser Jerboa.
Lilith Owl with Lesser Jerboa catch
A smart looking Male Namaqua Dove
Accompanied by a Female Namaqua Dove
Arabian Grey Shrike juvenile
Normally one hears these birds calling from within the cover of the long grass, or gets a fleeting glance if you flush them, as they fly away from you before dropping out of sight. Today I was fortunate enough to see a pair of birds out in the open. The female chased down and ingested a grasshopper whilst the male looked on.
The Female bird catches a grasshopper on the road
A bit of tenderising takes place
The grasshopper disappears down the hatch
The male told by the darker facial markings looks on
They are starting to trickle in. Hopefully it will be a bumper season in terms of density and diversity
Migrating birds often stop over at various points along their route to rest and feed before continuing their journey.These two Common Sandpipers got into a bit of a stand-off as to who had rights to this feeding zone. There was a little altercation before one of the birds gave way.
Here are images of a few long suffering residents that were on hand in the heat and humity when I was out at the farm the other day
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark male
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark female
Indian Reed Warbler
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin