20 February 2012

Flies, damn flies!

Week 07 - Wafra Farms and Kirhan

A Masked Wagtail had been found a week ago by a visiting Swiss group of birders, in the south of the country. After my son's golf lesson, armed with a Google map provided by Abdulrahman, we headed south in gloomy overcast weather in the hope that it would still be there. This gave me the opportunity to teach my son how to read a map and foir him to navigate us to the site. It was a long drive for what is still considered a sub-species of White Wagtail, but we took it as an adventure to have a look at this striking bird.

When we arrived at the location, pretty much a compost heap from a nearby chicken battery - we found Pekka, whose car was almost 40% covered in flies (on the outside), so much so that it looked mottled. The reason for the bird activity was obvious, the flies were their food too.

Wasnt this going to fun to open the window for a photograph. The bird was around, but it took some time for us (actually Jaden) to locate it - but unfortunately on the other side of a fence.

I grabbed a few record shots of the Masked Wagtail (through the fence), but in doing so, provided an opportunity for very many flies to come swarming into the car.

Masked Wagtail (Motacilla a. personata)

Since we already had flies irritating us in the car, we missed photographing a skittish Finschs Wheatear, but got another record shot of an early arrival in the form of a Woodchat Shrike - letting in some more flies.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
By now the flies were too much for us, so we headed back East finding a large herd of camels on the Wafra Road

Camel herd on the Wafra Road
We then headed a short way south past Kirhan, where we were able to relocate the Red-tailed Wheatear still in gloomy conditions.

Red-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia)

By now lunch was calling, so a drive back to friends, still trying to get rid of the flies in the car (in fact that took a few days) for any enjoyable rest of the day. What was quite amazing though, is that a fly can stick to the bonnet (a pretty smooth surface) up to 120 km/h before it could hold on no more!

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