06 November 2016

A bevy of Buzzards

Week 37, 09 September 2016 - Khuwaisat and Liyah

Time has got the better of me again, but a few late and belated posts are too follow.

The Honey Buzzard migration normally precedes the main raptor migration and the majority of these Buzzards pass through over a few days, so it is easy to miss.

As I can only get out on the weekends, I did miss the peak during the week, but with a sense of hope, I was at the site just after sunrise on the first day of the weekend. My enthusiasm waned a little, when I didn't find any raptors roosting on the deck. However, a shooter, inadvertently put up a small kettle of Buzzards that were roosting in the trees. This small flock had a mix of both Eurasian and Crested Honey Buzzards and a possible hybrid (but this will need to be confirmed). 

One of the bigger birds was a Crested Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
Whilst the others were all possible European Honey Buzzards, but 2 are lacking the yellow eye, so it does create some doubt?

European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)

I suspect this one may be a hybrid and am still awaiting confirmation from an expert

Possible Hybrid Honey Buzzard?
It didn't take long for this small flock to disappear from view, so I drove around the desert, eventually finding 2 Honey Buzzards that had roosted on the desert. They were quite obliging (read exhausted), as long as you didn't pressure the birds by trying to get to close. I just love the yellow eye's...

European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)

As it warmed up, I also had a Western Marsh Harrier fly by

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

A couple of early Steppe Buzzards

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)
Followed by a single and early Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)

As there were no further raptors, I headed north over Mutla Ridge to Liyah - no further raptors, but I did get a few other migrant species. First up was a single Greater Short-toed Lark which was later joined by at least 20 more birds

Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)

A few Common Quail were also seen scurrying quickly between the trees

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix)
And my first Tawny Pipit of the autumn dropped in

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)
On the northern side of the reserve, I added Greater Hoopoe Lark

Greater Hoopoe-Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)

followed by Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
and a Mauryan Grey Shrike

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)
As can be seen, Liyah is a KISR Reserve..

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)


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