12 April 2019

Some colour in the gloom

Week 14; 06 April 2019 - Pivot Fields

As with Paul Scott and I last visit to Pivots, today was also overcast and gloomy following a big storm and very strong winds during the night. Strange weather again with a low pressure over the region and now floods in southern Iran. After an early start, we were at the gates just after sunrise and saw that many trees had been damaged from the wind last night - some trees knocked over and many where big branches had broken off and fallen into the road 

At the pool we found well marked male Spanish Sparrows feverishly nest building - this is unusual as these are normally winter visitors.

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

From here we headed to the western part of the farm, finding a single Pied Wheatear with quite warm tones below.

Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

I saw a flock of Yellow Wagtail land in one of the fields and we were able to get the car quite close, switched off and let the birds come to us as the foraged amongst the crops. We had a great selection of the various races of Yellow Wagtail and really enjoyed seeing some colour again - so here you go.....

Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)

Eastern Black-headed

Eastern Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. melanogrisea)

Sykes's and a couple of variations that may not all be Sykes's

Sykes's Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)

Dont think this is Sykes's?

Possible White-headed (too pale for Syke's)

Possible White-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. leucocephala)


Yellow-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. lutea)


Grey-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. thunbergi)

And the most interesting for me a possible/probable Iberian Yellow Wagtail

Iberian Wagtail (Motacilla f. iberiae)

To add to the mix, there was a stunning male Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

and good numbers of Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

with House Sparrows also coming to forage in the fields

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

We headed east to the big pan created by the winter rain where there were fair numbers of Black-winged Stilts and a good selection of smaller waders

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

We then enjoyed some time with at least 4-5 Spotted Crake's

Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)

and two cracking male Little Crake's

Little Crake (Zapornia parva)

A Caspian Reed Warbler popped briefly out of the reeds

Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)

Something flushed some of the bigger waders from a pool surrounded by long grass - guess the silhouette?

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

On the far side of the pad, a big flock of Collared Pratincoles was feeding over one of the fields. It was a real challenge swinging the heavy older 600mm + 1,4 extender hand-held - but I did manage to get a few acceptable images despite the poor light. Note the bulging crops on some of the birds - they really are fueling up!

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

However the highlight was an Eastern Imperial Eagle that suddenly appeared above the flock of Pratincoles - a truly magnificent Eagle!
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)

On that note we called it a morning, but did stop briefly for a Greater Spotted Eagle that we found soaring above us just after leaving the farm

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

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