Here are some images taken on the farm thus far this week
Common Starling. I have seen these on the farm before but this is my first image of the species
Common Black-headed Gull seen here on one of the dams
Song Thrush still showing
A Mauryan Shrike about to despatch a grasshopper
A Desert Wheatear blends in nicely on top of these these rocks
A Daurian Shrike with breakfast
A Eurasian Hoopoe enjoying probing into the soft ground after the rain
A Corn Bunting warming up in the early morning sun
After the heavy rain everything was wet and there was surface water lying everywhere. It was cool early in the morning and I saw my first Black-headed Gull so it would seem Winter is on its way. It looks like the Northern Shoveler's plumage is changing. Hopefully they will hang around long enough for me to record the complete transition.
A Little Grebe. It was shadowing a pair of Mallards on the pond. I think it was feeling a bit lonely
My first Black-headed Gulls of the Winter. Two of them were present. They were slightly oiled on their breasts.
The one gull swam to close to the Indian Pond Heron's feeding spot and was chased off with a quick aggressive display
One of two Squacco Heron present today. It can be compared with the Indian Pond Heron pictured below
The Indian Pond Heron at its favourite feeding spot
A Green Sandpiper feeds nearby
One of the Northern Shovelers starting to show more white on the breast
Indian Reed Warbler
Thus far I have dipped on the Black-throated Thrush which several birders has recently recorded on the farm. This is a second record for Qatar. I have had to be happy with two scarce records in a Song Thrush and a flock of approximately 10 Northern Lapwings instead. I will continue to see if I can connect with the BTT over the next couple of days before it moves off.
Song Thrush. I previously recorded this species here on 24/11/2015
Northern Lapwing. I previously recorded this species here on the 20/01/2014
I was able to see and photograph several raptors this morning.
Dark Morph Marsh Harrier
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Pale Morph Long-legged Buzzard
Sadly it seems to have gone a bit quiet at the patch. A few of the waders from last week were still to be seen busy feeding up. The Garganey has moved on. The Northern Shovelers, Squacco Heron and the Indian Pond Heron were still present and going about their business. There was a Little Grebe in one of the ponds as well as all the Mallard type ducks. The only new birds were a pair of Dunlins that I came across early in the morning. I also saw a Daurian Shrike which I had not seen for a few weeks.
A Dunlin feeding early in the morning
Mallard male circling overhead the pond
Landing gear deployed, flaps down on final approach
A pair of Mallard type ducks
A female Mallard type duck
Most of the Pipits and Wagtails have moved on through. The Northern Shovelers and the Garganey where still in the house. A few wader migrants were to be seen. Other than that it was mostly the regulars other than the Indian Pond Heron that continues to show
The Indian Pond Heron using the reeds as cover
An Indian Silverbill stripping seed heads from the grass stalks
A Desert Wheatear on the look out for a meal
A Green Sandpiper feeding in the shallows
Common Greenshank wading in the pond
I was busy taking images of this Daurian Shrike when all of a sudden it flew off about 20 meters or so and grabbed this moth in mid-air and flew back to its perch. It then proceeded to rip it apart and ingest it piece by piece.
Once again there was a misty start to the morning out at the farm. I had to wait for the sun to burn it off before being able to capture a few images.
Here a White Wagtail has caught a grasshopper
There was another wave of Blue-Cheeked Bee-eaters again. I have not seen any European ones thus far. Hopefully they will put in an appearance soon
Whilst I have had a couple of fleeting glances of Snipe recently this is my first image of the season
A pair of Cattle egrets were practising their high-wire walking skills
I came across two European Stonechat females feeding together on the edge of one of the fields
There were several Greater Flamingo's on the ponds below the farm
In addition to the exciting new tick of the Black-winged Kite, it was once again quite a productive morning with some of the usual suspects as well as some new arrivals
The pair of Northern Shovelers seem quite at home now
The often seen Grey Heron on the look-out for fish
The juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron blending in nicely at the waters edge
This new arrival, a Garganey is still a bit skittish but as it flew across the dam I managed to get this B.I.F. shot
This Eurasian Hoopoe had found a nest in the ground with larva in it and was busy feasting on them
This Great Cormorant is often at the pond. Here it gives me the eye as it surfaces from a dive
There was a wave of Pipits and Wagtails today. Here a Water Pipit has just caught an insect
My first Red-throated Pipit of the season. There were several to be seen
There were several White Wagtails in the feeding party. Here one has just caught a small caterpillar
Whilst at the local patch the other morning I managed to get a fleeting glance of what I recognised to be a Black-winged Kite flying overhead. On closer inspection after getting home I noticed that there was a dark trailing edge to the wings which is not shown in the field guides. I asked Gavin Farnell for his thoughts and it would seem that there is also an Asian race Elanus caeruleus vociferous, which this bird appears to be. If so, it would be the first record of such a sub-species in Qatar.
Note the black trailing edge to the wings diagnostic in the Asian race
The black coverts found in both races are visible here as the bird hovers in the sky