12 August 2019

Residents and a trickle of migrants

Week 32; 10 August 2019 - Pivot Fields

Brisk NW wind has been forecast for most of the Eid holiday's which is great for migrants, not so great for us, as it brings dust and haze. Nevertheless, you don't find birds without venturing out - so I was at the Pivots entrance just after 6am without much expectation, other than to enjoy a morning out.

I vary the circuit I drive, but always end up at the two pans fairly early on, as the sun is behind and this is the most productive area of the farm. I found a Crested Lark on the same mound as my last visit

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

The 4 young Kestrels were interacting around the top of a Tamerisk tree before flying to the fields to hunt

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Down at the lakes, something had put the flock of Black-winged Stilt's up in the air along with most of the other waders

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

So it was a bit of BIF photography for awhile, although most birds were quite distant. A Common Greenshank was a new addition

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

There were also Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

and a single Temminck’s Stint  amongst the Little Stint's that flew by 

Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii )

also quite a few Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

The lone young White-tailed Lapwing was still present

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)

There were both Indian and Caspian Reed Warblers actively feeding and interacting in the reedbed, along with a Savi's Warbler that briefly popped out into the open (thanks Yoav)

Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)

Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)

Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus), drying after a bath

And the numbers of Western Yellow Wagtail's had increased, most in non-breeding or 1st year plumage

Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)

Typical 1cy Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)

A drive around the farm gave a Namaqua Dove

Male Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)

many more Crested Larks

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

I missed photographing a Greater Short-toed Lark, but found the flock of 30+ Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks in the area they seem to favour on the farm. Some of the males are looking pretty good now and it isn't often that they turn and face you

Female Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)

Male Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)

This male with darker upper parts than the previous bird

A small flock of European Bee-eater's were hunting from the overhead lines. Interesting to see some of them flying with their legs 'hanging' - I suspect this is a cooling technique

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

A falconer had put his Peregrine out it's perch to get some sun - this bird is 3-years old

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

I couldn't resist getting a few portraits of this magnificent raptor

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) portrait

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