23 March 2020

Lockdown - Day 11

Week 12; 22 March 2020 - Pivot Fields

As my car was still in surgery, Paul Scott picked me up for a morning at the Pivot Fields in really crappy weather. The wind started at 4:30am followed by rain and thunder and during the course of the morning rolling dust on strong squalls. 

Still, so much better than being stuck in the apartment, but not ideal at all for photography although the birding was not too bad.

We met Neil Tovey at the farm and continued birding together. In the Tamarix Tree's on the boundary, we had numerous Common Redstart's

Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

This morning there were quite a few male Western Marsh Harriers

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Yellow Wagtails have arrived en-mass and quite a few of the races/forms were now represented, although there still are a few odd ones (hybrids?)

Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla f. supercillaris)

A very pale headed Sykes's Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)

A strange Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla f. supercillaris)

Odd to see 1st year plumage birds amongst all the bright yellow

Together with the Yellow Wags, there were still quite a few White Wags and many Pipit species amongst the roving flocks; we had 6 in total including Richards, Meadow, Tree, Tawny, Water and Red-throated

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

Down at the marsh, still big numbers of Common Snipe

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Glossy Ibis numbers were down from last week

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

White-tailed Lapwings were quite active

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)

And a Great Reed Warbler was seen in the reeds

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

Neil had to leave, so Paul and I continued for another hour or so finding Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

A fulvescens Greater Spotted Eagle, probably the same bird that has been present for the latter part of the winter

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila c. fulvescens)

The pair of Red-wattled Lapwing's were found in a different area of the farm to where I had last seen them

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)

We found this large 'yellow' locust, but am not sure of the ID - perhaps Desert or one of those from the apocalyptic swarms from last month?

Locust sp.

At the pool, I saw a big wasp I had not seen before and it turned out there were quite a few of them. We got pics and thanks to Huw Roberts in UAE identified them as Mammoth Wasp (the biggest wasp in Europe). The female has a yellow head, whilst the male a black head. 

Male Mammoth Wasp (Megascolia maculata)

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