There have some high points though. Top of these was when a female golden oriole landed very briefly early in the morning on Wednesday.
Today was a bit better. This afternoon, I saw my first shrike on the farm for 10 days. It was a masked shrike almost certainly on passage. I say "almost certainly on passage" because I have records of two in mid winter two years ago when it was much milder than last winter.
young northern wheatear
And in the very early morning and in poor light, I came across a very flighty young northern wheatear. The light didn't help its identification but I got enough views including one of its tail pattern to be sure.
northern wheatear from behind
Two small waves of European bee-eater have occurred. Neither group stopped more than a few minutes. There was a bee research centre here but it looks like it closed down over the summer. When it was running, the bee-eaters used to stay for hours gorging themselves!
European bee-eater resting briefly on the farm
Other non residents have also been present but they might not necessarily be passage birds. They might also be staying the winter (in case of a grey wagtail and green sandpiper) or local movements in the case of a couple of black winged stilt. I can't tell.
grey wagtail with dropped wings
This grey wagtail was behaving quite oddly. I have never seen one drop its wings and cock its tail in the manner of a thrush family member before. It was also unusually away from water too.
grey wagtail with cocked tail
This went on for a couple of minutes before it did some heavy preening. Finally it reverted to its normal form.
grey wagtail preening
A grey wagtail was present at the near-by pool this afternoon. It could easily be the same bird reverting to type.
finally grey wagtail in normal pose
The pool has been the focus of other "non residents" during the past week.
black winged stilt at the pool
black winged stilt
I wonder just how much more of the passage is left. Its certainly lower key in central Arabia than in spring. Even when it is over I think I will continue the walk. Who knows, there may be some interesting or rare wintering bird(s) there.