12 September 2020

Lockdown - Day 170; A trickle of new arrivals

Week 35; 28 August 2020 - Pivot Fields

After a week of working out of the apartment, the weekend birding break is really appreciated. And so I found myself back at the Pivots just after 6am along with John Gurnett.

I stopped for a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater's on the overhead line, one of many seen during the morning.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus )

A little further on, the Black-winged Kite posed nicely in the early morning light. It seems there are a pair at the farm and they were seen mating a few weeks back - fingers crossed!

Black-winged Kite (Elanus c. vociferus)

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We headed down to the marsh, where I caught this Cattle Egret departing with his breakfast takeaway

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) with Green Toad (Pseudepidalea viridis)

I had my first Snipe for this autumn a way off in the fields

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

I had a Common House Martin foraging over the reeds, both birds seemed to be quite 'dirty' and not with the bright white underparts you would expect. I checked my images carefully once home, to make sure they weren't Asian House Martin

Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)


A Western Marsh Harrier was seen in the distance as we walked back to our cars

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

We then checked for Egyptian Nightjar's, finding only two - it seems the bulk have already moved on

Egyptian Nightjar (Caprimulgus aegyptius)

It was here where I found the smallest Spiny-tailed Lizard I have ever seen - it was half the size of the palm of my hand

Juvenile Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx a. microlepis)

Driving around the boundary of the farm we had a Lesser Grey Shrike on the fence

Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minora)

and later found the 2nd Black-winged Kite 

Black-winged Kite (Elanus c. vociferus)

Last stop was the smaller pool of water, here I got a half decent image of Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark in flight - getting closer, but still no cigar!

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)

There was a mixed Hirundine flock feeding above the pool, along with a number of Collared Pratincole's. The first image is a 3-in-one

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) and Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

A Namaqua Dove dropped in, before departing just as quickly

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)

By now it was too hot, so a good time to call it a morning

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