19 August 2018

Migrant fall out

Week 11; 17 March 2018 - Al Abraq, Jahra Farm and JPR

Encouraged by the small number of arriving migrants last week I planned a dawn to dusk day, starting out in the west at Al Abraq and I wasn't to be disappointed - migrants abounded!

Driving through the gates at the farm, the first bird was a female Common Redstart - off to a good start.

Female Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

Numbers of Eurasian Hoopoe's were foraging around the farm

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

Tree Pipits were seen in areas under irrigation and flushed into the nearby tree's when disturbed

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

I had both Rock Thrushes - first up was Blue

Western Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)

Western Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) with Darkling Beetle

Followed a little later by Rufous-tailed - with the unfortunate Darkling Beetles taking a hammering from these large passerine migrants.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis) smashing a Darkling Beetle

Overhead, European Bee-eaters called as they passed by

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

Followed by a few Common Swifts

Common Swift (Apus apus)
As it warmed up, Raptors started appearing - Lesser Kestrels were also feeding on the poor Darkling Beetles outside the farm

Female Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

Whilst Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

And Western Marsh Harrier passed through

Male Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

A slow walk around the farm got me close to a stunning and obliging male Ehrenberg's Redstart

Male Ehrenberg's Redstart (Phoenicurus p. sammamisicus)

A number of Grey Wagtails were catching flies off the fermenting fruit on the ground - I got down low to and this gave great perspective

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

Eye on the prize

Around the fields, I had both forms of Eastern Black-eared Wheatear

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca) with dark throat

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca) with pale throat

A few Pied Wheatear's

Male Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

And a single Northern for good measure

Male Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Also in the fields, both male and female Siberian Stonechat's

Female Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

Male Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

And in the thicker habitat - Lesser Whitethroat

Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia c. halimodendri)

Along with Ménétriés’s Warbler

Male Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)

Some movement in one of the bigger trees alerted me to a single female Semi-collared Flycatcher that was very flighty

Female Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata)

Near the camel pens, a Little Ringed Plover was quite unexpected

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

Painted Ladies

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui cardui)

And Mediterranean Pierrot's were expected invertebrates amongst the migrants

Mediterranean Pierrot (Tarucus rosaceus)

By now, it was almost mid-day, so time to head back east and a stop at Jahra Farm where Red-rumped Swallow's were seen above the fields

Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)

Some more Tree Pipit's in the fields

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

and even more Pied Wheatear's

Male Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

Female Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

Last stop was JPR; a small number of Red-necked Phalarope had arrived

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)

Along with four Shrike species; Mauryan Grey

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)


Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

a good few Daurian's - this one singing softly in the late afternoon light

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

and a single Turkestan

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)

White-throated Kingfisher's were active; flying around above the reeds

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

Checking the beach road, two Temminck's Stint were found foraging in a shallow pool

Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)

Last stop in the desert area gave a Common Kestrel that had settled in to roost for the night

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

and in the tree next to it, a vittata Pied Wheatear

Vittata Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

What a day!

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