24 September 2012

Raptor Watch Cont...

Week 38, 19 September 2012 - Khuwaisat and SAANR (Click to enlarge image)

This morning I was able to get to the roost site earlier than 2-days back. Although numbers were down, most of the Raptors had roosted in the trees on the farm in Khuwaisat and not many were seen on the desert.

Just before the farm, I found an obliging Short-toed Eagle with it's characteristic large yellow eyes and round head sitting on a telephone line.

Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
By now the roost had taken off and were starting to thermal, as with previous days the majority were Steppe Buzzards

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

But I picked up a bigger and darker bird amongst the flock which was a sub-adult or 1cy Egyptian Vulture, one of four that were seen this morning

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

As the flock(s) dispersed after thermaling updward, I again headed to SAANR, picking up a single Steppe Eagle on the way.

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
At Tuhla inside the reserve, there were no raptors, But a patient wait produced a few Steppe Buzzards, one a dark morph adult that looks very different to all the other variants.

Dark morph adult Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

A Pallid Harrier put in a brief appearance
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

But a large Steppe Eagle gliding low overhead put up most of the birds - it really is intimidating close-up.

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
Whilst waiting for more raptors to appear (which they didnt), a Yellow Wagtail posed for a picture.
Sykes Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)

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