Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pallid harriers along the highway

In the northernmost field of NADEC farm on Thursday, Lou Regensmorter and I  came across a female pallid harrier. The field is adjacent to route 90 which goes from Kharj to Haradh

female pallid harrier

What was interesting is that six hours before, we had stopped the car journey at the outskirts of Kharj on the way out to Haradh to view another pallid harrier. That time it had been a male which was also in a field adjacent to the same road but 120 kilometres further west of the NADEC sighting.

second view of female pallid harrier

The sightings of pallid harrier didn't finish at NADEC. On the way back on the same road we noticed two other males together following the road travelling at about 25 kilometres an hour. 

On four occasions we drove ahead of them, stopped the car for them to catch up and tried to take pictures.

male pallid harrier following route 90 east to west

Finally after a few kilometres they diverted into a near-by field.

second view of male pallid harrier

However that wasn't the end of the story. I posted the pictures of the female harrier on BirdForum to confirm the identity.

first winter male pallid harrier

One of the pictures taken after the female had left her perch turned out to to be a first winter male which must have been in the same field and crossed her flight path when I stopped following her.

This means that we saw 5 pallid harrier all along the same road, two of which were proven to be on migration though the others probably were too.  

They were using the road as a route.


  1. That's an interesting observation, Rob, a bit like following a river....

    Laurie -

  2. Laurie,

    The farms also follow the road (with gaps) so its a green corridor. However it was not just that thy were flying down the corridor they were hugging the road.