22 May 2017

Raptors and reedbeds

Week 42, 02 October 2016 - Khuwaisat and JPR

We had a day off for the Prophets Birthday, so I was able to get out for a few hours to check on the raptor migration.

I took a slight detour to reach the same location as last week, but not quite as early, so I did miss some of those that had already departed. 

I found a roosting pale morph Booted Eagle.

Pale morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Later, I had both morphs soaring above and past me - I cant make up my mind which of the two I prefer?

Dark morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)

Pale morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)

I found a good spot, parked the car and waited. I was unexpectedly rewarded when a large female Sparrowhawk burst out of cover and nailed a Eurasian Collared Dove - I only managed a record pic as it flew back to the trees with it's breakfast

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) with Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Much fewer Steppe Buzzards were seen this morning and also not much in terms of plumage variation

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

Synchronised Steppe Buzzards (Buteo b. vulpinus)

This raptor was not so straight forward, initially I thought Bonelli's, then Steppe - but thanks to Yoav for pointing out that it is a young European Honey Buzzard. I must admit, it was the plain plumage that threw me a little

Young European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
As well as another Pallid Harrier pretty high up.

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) 
A few more Sparrowhawks burst out of cover and flew low across the desert

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
Another raptor flew out and directly away from me - the record shot suggests one of the Falcon species - but that is as far as I can get - it never did bank or turn!!

Falcon sp?
By now the raptors had thinned out completely, so I headed to JPR to check if any had stopped for a drink - obviously the winds were favourable, so they had all continued on their way south. A Common Snipe was seen in one of the pools

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Warblers were also seen foraging on the edges of the reedbeds, first a Great Reed

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)
and later Indian Reed

Indian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. brunnescens)
White-throated Kingfisher are almost guaranteed at JPR

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
This female Pintail had me going for awhile, as a female Red-crested Pochard (2nd for Kuwait) had also been present earlier in the week - but not to be on this occasion

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
A couple of White-winged Terns were foraging over one of the larger pools

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
and a Turkestan Shrike (karalini) was seen in the drier part of the reserve.

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius p. karelini)
From one of the observation towers, I saw a few fish - clearly there are a couple of pretty decent size fish in these pools - great for the Osprey when it eventually turns up.

Fish sp.

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