02 December 2020

The penultimate visit to Pivots

Week 48; 27 November 2020 - Pivot Fields

Winter weather has arrived, well at least the overcast days with scattered rain, but still not really that cold yet. Arriving at the farm just after 6, it is now a much longer wait until it brightens up for birds to get active and to get some images. This morning it was just John Gurnett, Jules and I at the farm. Once it lightened up, I went to the area of dead Sabkha bushes, as these attract a few species and are great perches.

I had this Turkestan Shrike which seems like the same bird from last week.

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)

There were good numbers of winter plumaged Red-spotted Bluethroat around

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia s. svecica)

As well as both European

European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

And Caspian Stonechat's

Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

I then drove to the marsh where I found this Greater Spotted Eagle feeding on a Grey Heron and spent quite some time with it as it picked the flesh from the bones. 

It had to almost stand on it's toes to pull out what looked like the oesophagus, but it wouldn't pull free from the bone - so was pretty funny to watch.

Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)

Once it had finished and flown off, I headed to a different part of the marsh, picking up Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

The Great Cormorant still present from last week

Continental Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis)

As was the Great Egret

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Peering between the reeds, I found an eclipse plumaged male Northern Shoveler on the water

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

I then had a slow drive around the farm, finding Imperial Eagles. 

This morning there were more Imperials than Greater Spotted, including a cracking adult

Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)

I really like the plumage on the young Greater Spotted, especially the upperparts after which they must be named. Both these species are unlikely in South Africa, so I need to soak up and enjoy these sightings!

Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)

I had this single foraging Skylark that I checked carefully for Oriental, but it was not to be

Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

Later in the morning, I found an obliging large flock of Indian Silverbill

Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica)

And while watching them, got a Water 

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

And Meadow Pipit on the overhead lines

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

A little further on, a Steppe Buzzard walking in the fields, catching insects along the way

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

And a Montagu's Harrier cruising low over the fields

Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus)

I ended up the morning back at the marsh, where a White-throated Kingfisher was hunting

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

as well as good numbers of Whiskered Tern hawking amongst the Dragonflies

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

I will try and head back to the farm next weekend, which will then be my last birding outing in Kuwait, as this chapter of birding in the oven, slowly comes to an end

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