14 July 2019

Let the autumn migration begin

Week 28; 13 July 2019 - Pivot Fields

Neil Tovey and I spent a few productive hours at the Pivot Fields starting at 6am

Once inside the gates, we had not one, but two Black-winged Kites, both adult birds. One had caught a Lesser Jerboa and we spent some time watching it dismember and devour it. Out of the blue, a cracking adult Woodchat Shrike made an appearance, hovering above the Kite looking for scraps. The Kite was quite unperturbed and continued feeding, but eventually did fly off. The Kites are now considered annual visitors, but it wasn't that long ago when a Rare Bird Report was required for this species

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus) with Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Meriones libycus syrius)

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus) harassed by a Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

The Shrike then landed on the same perch to check for any left overs, of which there were none.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

Down at the two large pans, we had an assortment of newly arrived waders; Green, Marsh, Common and Wood Sandpipers, along with Ruff, Redshank, Little Ringed Plovers, the ever present Black-winged Stilts and half a dozen Collared Pratincole's. Sand Martin and Barn Swallows were overhead and a single Little Tern was actively feeding over the open pan

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Caspian Reed Warblers were active in the reeds and this distant Acro is thought to be a Basra Reed - did it breed as habitat is ideal, or has it recently arrived?

Probable Basra Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis)

Driving around the farm, we had at least 5-6 Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Black-crowned Sparrow Lark numbers had significantly increased, along with a few Short-toed Larks. In the same area, we had a few Cream-coloured Coursers.

Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor)

Overall, 42 species in 2.5 hours birding, with an encouraging number of early autumn migrants

Whilst out, I also check for the invertebrates and Dragonfly numbers and diversity has also increased - here a few seen during the morning

Female Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii)

Possible female Red-veined Dropwing (Trithemis arteriosa)

Male Red-veined Dropwing (Trithemis arteriosa)

Slender Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina)

Along with this cryptically coloured Grasshopper

Grasshopper sp.

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