10 March 2020

A blustery morning at Abraq

Week 10; 07 March 2020 - Al Abraq, Jahra Farm and Jahra Pools

It was an early start from JPR together with Dr Riad Rimon and his wife who joined Paul Scott and I for a morning at Abraq. I had high expectations, but after the glorious day yesterday it was not to be today, as a cold wind brought with it dust for most of the morning. Nevertheless, we were there and made the most of it.

Driving around the farm this back lit shrub caught my eye

Desert shrub

Shortly after we were entertained by newly arrived Eastern Black-eared Wheatear's

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)

This Wheatear was one of my birds in habitat images

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)

Whilst watching the Wheatear's, a male Pallid Harrier whizzed by on the wind

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Caspian Stonechat's still abound and we spent quite some time in a field with dead Sunflower plants. The plants almost had more character than the birds that were using them as perches to preen and forage from

Female Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

Male Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

Common Chiffchaff's were using the same tactic on the flowers and in most other habitat around the farm

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Whilst watching the Stonechat's, there was movement in the trees and I glimpsed a Ménétriés’s Warbler before it disappeared from view - this just a poor record shot as my camera struggled a bit to focus through the dust and with such a small subject.

Male Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)

Paul and I had a walk to try and find some of the Scops Owls seen the previous day - but no luck. We did find a Song Thrush

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

We then had a last drive around the farm, finding Turkestan Shrike

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)

and a few cracking Northern Wheatear's

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

A last stop at the Sunflowers gave us two smart male Spanish Sparrow's. One managing to salvage a seed from one of the plants

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

We then called it a morning and headed back to Jahra, detouring at the Farm where we had another Song Thrush

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

More Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

and House Sparrows behaving like Sunbird's above one of the fields being flooded.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

We flushed a Tree Pipit walking back to our car

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

Although the light was not not favourable, we had a quick look at Jahra Pools where there are now two Spur-winged Lapwing

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)

White-winged Tern in summer plumage were feeding over one of the pools and every now and then would fly up quickly above the pools. Only when checking my image could I see it was to catch a small flying insect

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)

Down at the beach a Western Marsh Harrier harassed the roosting Gulls without success, after which we also called it a day

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

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