28 September 2019

Raptors on the move

Week 38; 20 September 2019 - Khuwaisat

One of our birding friends Aziz reported a massive raptor passage from 8am to 2pm on a strong NW wind today with many passing directly over, but good numbers dropping in to roost at some of the Khuwaisat Farms. Paul Scott and I headed there late in the afternoon to see if any more might drop in.

It was not the case, but we saw that there were many Steppe Buzzards that were already roosting in the Cassarina Trees inside the farm. A few were still restless and we managed to get a few images as they flew out and returned to roost. The dark form Steppe is one plumage variation that really stands out for me

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

Dark Form Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

Whilst waiting for others, an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear alighted on a discarded carpet - not quite Aladdin, but impressive in the golden hour light

Male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)

Aziz had caught an Arabian Fat-tailed Scorpion, an invertebrate I have wanted to see for a very long time. It is pretty impressive and is considered to be one of the 5 most toxic scorpions in the world - now I just need to see the Desert Viper!

Arabian Fat-tailed Scorpion (Androctonus crassicauda)

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