08 December 2015

Raptor Route

Week 39, 26 September 2015 - Mutla'a to Jahra

I was hoping to catch-up with the raptor migration that had started earlier in the week and made my first stop at the site on the coast where large numbers of Steppe Buzzards roost overnight.....

The thought, you should have been here yesterday sprung to mind - as there was not a single Buzzard to be seen - at all! Just a solitary Pallid Harrier and that was it.....

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
I cut my losses and headed north to Mutla'a Ranch, finding another Pallid Harrier flying adjacent to the freeway.

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
Once at Mutla'a it was also pretty quiet, from a raptor perspective, other than a some Greater Short-toed Larks

Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)
A few Tree Pipits

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
and a single Ortolan Bunting.

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
A final drive around the farm before I moved on, did produce a few raptors, as by now it had warmed a little and there were thermals to assist. First up was a Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

Followed shortly by a dark phase Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)

Birds eye view
And a young Egyptian Vulture, which is always great to see

Egyptian Vulture (Caprimulgus aegyptius)
From the farm, I headed to lower elevation near the coast and stopped by Jahra Pools where a Long-legged Buzzard cruised by overhead

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)
But a few 1cy Black-eared Kites had dropped in to drink and were just leaving the pool as I came down the road. A few of these birds over-winter in Kuwait

Black-eared Kite (Milvus m. lineatus)

Other birds of interest was a group of Little Egrets hunting in the same pool.

Little Egret stand-off (Egretta garzetta)

A trio of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
There was a good number of young Purple Herons about to - here a portrait of one

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) portrait
A couple of Grey Herons also dropped in to feed in the shallow pools.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
A winter plumage Citrine Wagtail on the other side of the pool, was of interest.

A distant Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
On the invertebrate side, I recorded a number of butterfly species today;

Asian Grass Blue

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra karsandra)
Mediterranean Pierrot

Mediterranean Pierrot (Tarucus rosaceus)
Quite a few Pea or Long-tailed Blues

A pair of Pea Blue's (Lampides boeticus) in cop

Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus)
and a good number of Salmon Arabs which added a splash of colour to the desert flora

Salmon Arab (Madais fausta fausta)

So, after a slow start, it turned out to be a fairly good morning..

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