29 September 2013

Raptor Watch cont....

Week 37, 13 September 2013 - Khuwaisat and JPR (Click to enlarge image)

Yesterday another big raptor passage was reported by many of the local birders, so I got my family up early to see if we could enjoy the tail end of yesterdays passage.

We were at Khuwaisat by 6:30 to discover that literally all the birds had moved on and no raptors had roosted overnight. We drove around the roost area and had one Harrier stop briefly to drink from a small run-off from the farm, taken by my son Jaden. I was able to get an image of the bird in flight. I believe this is a Hen Harrier, primarily due to the 5-fingers on the primaries.

Juvenile Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Sadly, a 4x4 with a bunch of shooters who had little disregard for us taking photo's and enjoying the birds drove by shooting at Wagtails drinking from the same seep, spoiling our morning's birding and upsetting my family. I understand that shooters can now be prosecuted if caught, so this is great news and I hope it will curb much of the senseless shooting of migrants.

Indiscriminate shooters spoiling the morning's birding

We departed for the tranquility and protection of Jahra Pools and enjoyed the birds inside this reserve. My son Jaden photographed this flock of Little Egrets with a few Western Cattle Egret's

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta ) and Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis )
As well as a Sykes's Wagtail

Sykes's Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)
With a bigger lens, I was able to get 'closer' to the Little Egrets

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta )
Driving around the reserve, we found Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio  porphyrio)
A single Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
The numbers of Duck have increased, with a large flock of Garganey

Garganey (Anas querquedula)
And a few Ferruginous Duck; here is one of this seasons 1st-year birds

1st year Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
Sadly this Spotted Crake got caught and died on the barbed wire fence

Deceased Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)
The only raptor at the Reserve was a distant Western Marsh Harrier

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
There are large numbers of Collared Doves that roost in the Casarina Trees away from the pools.

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Hopefully I will be a little luckier with the next raptor wave over the coming week(s)


  1. Where were they when the Iraqi's invaded?

    Nice migrant stuff - glad to hear there is possibly a crackdown on 'hunting', these migrant birds do not belong to them.........

    Laurie -

  2. Is there a chance to submit these photos to the authorities? The plate number and the face of the guy show up clearly!
    Day by day I do feel more disgusted by those barbarians.

  3. Considering the harrier observation, I would definitely go for the Pallid harrier (young adult female).