12 October 2018

Migrants trickling in

Week 32; 11 August 2018 - Al Abraq and Diary Farm Pivots

Neil Tovey and I met way before sunrise for the drive west to Al Abraq. Migration is now kicking off and we dreaded the shooters that would be at the farm. We weren't disappointed, as the slaughter of migrants continues unabated, despite legislation being in place to prohibit it. We confronted them, took some images of the registration plates to report to the Environmental Police, in the outside hope that some action would be taken.

We explored other parts of the farm, to avoid them spoiling the rest of our morning. Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters had arrived and these are one of the species targeted by the shooters

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus) in the early morning light

A couple of Eurasian Hoopoe's were seen foraging around the farm

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in the trees

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida)

As well as an Upcher's Warbler

Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida)

A small flock of 1st year Rose-coloured Starlings looked like they were coming in to land, but aborted at the last minute and continued heading south

Rose-coloured Starling (Pastor roseus)

Clouded Yellow's have also arrived and were enjoying the flowering alfalfa. There seems to be some variability in colour with this species, with some more yellowish and a few quite pale green

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)

Together with Asian Grass Blues

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra)

It was starting to heat up which is when the shooters also leave, so one last drive around before deciding to head to Dairy Farm Pivots. We were pleasantly surprised to find two Black-winged Kites. These used to be national rarities, but are now seen annually in many locations

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus)

A single Glossy Ibis was also found foraging in the fields and then alighting on the pivot (I added some warmth to spice up the dull silhouette)

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

There were Western Yellow Wagtails along with a single Citrine Wagtail in the alfalfa field.

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

An unexpected surprise was a Long-eared Hedgehog that came out from the fields and really sprinted across the open and exposed desert area before it disappeared into the base of some hay bales

Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus)

Again the temperature had suddenly ratcheted up and this was a good time to call it a day

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