Male Western Marsh Harrier
Female Western Marsh Harrier
Female Western Marsh Harrier
My first Bluethroat sighting of the winter. This bird popped out into the open for a couple for moments to bask in the sun
I returned to the spot where I had previously seen the female Menetries's Warbler in the hope that the male would put in an appearance. He was slightly more co-operative today and popped out into the open for a couple of seconds, allowing me to capture this ID image
I also managed to reconnect with the female Menetries's Warbler again today
I also came across a pair of Namaqua Doves. I managed a shot of the male, but unfortunately the shutter noise from the camera put them to flight before I could record an image of the female
An Isabelline Wheatear silhouetted nicely on top of this shrub
A female European Stonechat on the lookout for a meal
Here a Red-vented Bulbul warms up in the early morning sunlight
I had recently seen this bird and was not entirely sure of what it was so I sent some of the images off to Neil Morris for his considered opinion. He has confirmed that what I thought was possibly a dark form of the Western Marsh Harrier is correct. While the Marsh Harrier is a common passage migrant and winter visitor, the dark morph of this species is listed as rare. This is my first ever sighting of such a bird
Western Marsh Harrier - dark morph
The geese were still in residence today when I visited the local patch. Today whilst I was there they took to flight and headed off for a few minutes before returning to land on the ponds. After a quick swim and a drink they waddled out onto the grass to feed
Here two of the geese are transitioning into adult plumage and are sporting the white area at the base of the bill. There are also hints that the black barring on the under parts is starting to appear
Another bird not yet showing the white front but displaying hints of the underside barring
This bird is still displaying juvenile plumage
Compared to this bird showing the transition clearly
This bird in flight still showing juvenile plumage
Early in the morning on the perimeter of one of the centre pivot fields I came across a few of these birds. At first I thought they were Short-toed Larks, but something about their appearance and jizz was different. This is the benefit of photography. I managed a few images and when I got back home I was able to check through my bird guides and ID them as Eurasian Skylarks. As a result I ended up with a new species for my Qatar list.
Eurasian Skylark with raised crest
It was early in the morning and they were making shallow scrapes in the ground and lying in them
Eurasian Skylark happily nestled in its little groundscrape
I did a loop up north to see what was on offer. The day was cool and overcast with a few drops of rain on the trip up there. Despite these less than ideal conditions there was still something to be seen and photographed. The falcon traps have been dismantled. I wonder if they managed to catch anything? It is also that time of the year again and there are quite a few tented winter camps being set up at various locations, both inland and along the coast.
My first Great Black-headed Gulls of the season. I came across these birds out on the sand bar at Fuwairit Beach
Great Black-headed Gull goes for a stroll down the beach
Great Black-headed Gull does a fly-by
Further along the beach this juvenile Caspian Gull tbc was scavenging for scraps of food left by the beachgoers
Also present were several Ruddy Turnstones
This Common Black-head Gull was patrolling the harbour at Al Khor
This Great Cormorant was fishing in the sea at the entrance to the harbour. Others were perched on one of the channel marking buoys
This rather brazen Western Reef Heron was perched on top of one of the Dhows on the look out for tasty morsels
Here are a few of the more colourful images from a morning spent out on the farm
A Red-wattled Lapwing.
A Male European Stonechat
This Steppe Grey Shrike seems to be frequenting the same bush. I have seen it here now on several recent visits
A female Pallid Harrier in one of the irrigation fields early in the morning
The Spotted Redshank is still present.
I visited my local patch today and managed to tick two new species. This brings my total count here to 101.
A single Great Cormorant was present on one of the small fresh water ponds. It spent some time swimming around and then hopped out onto the rocks to dry out.
Indian Reed Warbler.(Clamorous Reed Warbler) I have been hearing the calls of these birds here for some time now but have not been able to get a good sighting of them. Luckily today one popped out into the open long enough for me to photograph it.
The good news does not stop there. Originally there were six Greater White-fronted Geese, then another joined them last week. Today I see the count is up to eight. Long may this trend continue.
Here an Indian Silverbill is busy stripping seed heads off this clump of grass
A Red-vented Bulbul investigates something on the ground
A female Menetries's Warbler. A male was also present but I was not able to capture an image of it
An obliging male European Stonechat that allowed me to get up close
A Tawny Pipit. There are quite a few present at the moment
A male Western Marsh Harrier gives me the beady eye. Not as common a sighting as the numerous female/juvenile birds that are to be found here
An ID image of a Spotted Redshank in winter plumage. My first ever sighting of this species.