The remaining farm at Sawnout is still very large. However it is out of bounds as it is a cattle farm as well as arable. To prevent any animal diseases transmitting it is closed to all outsiders.
Birders have to resort to peering over the fence.
You can't see anything from the north side which gets the sun all day long. The south side is on the main road but at least the sun is always in the right direction. The east side is better in the mornings but there is no cover. The west side is best in the afternoons and there is some cover outside the farm.
A spotting scope is a good idea. Either way, no one has reported sociable lapwing this year as yet. I go about five times a week to look for them and other interesting birds.
Sometimes a pivot bar is parked near the western fence. This is an opportunity to see perched species such as roller, kestrel, rosy starling, common myna and many tens of both laughing dove and especially collared dove. The hope is always to see something rarer.
Looking into the distance into the farm you can make out there are many hundreds of birds. the problem is identifying them.Yesterday there were around one hundred chestnut-bellied sandgrouse in a fallow field along with three cream coloured courser. However I was viewing them from two hundred metres way.
female chestnut-bellied sandgrouse facing
In other fields which were being watered were a hundred cattle egret and ten or so white winged black tern. Barn swallow fly over most fields.
male chestnut-bellied sandgrouse facing
I saw the strange sight of eight curlew grazing in a particularly sodden field which has just been re-sown.
The best prospects are when a field is being watered close to the fence but that doesn't occur very often.
You can be lucky enough to see some birds actually on the fence such as this graceful prinia.
rose ringed parakeet
On the western side a long row of palm trees are next to the fence. They can house birds such as rose ringed parakeet and often birds of prey.
female shining sunbird
Even sunbirds can sometimes be seen on the fences.
Occasionally birds will spill over from the farm to the outside. I saw a single unidentified pipit on the eastern side that way. I am checking its identity.
second view of pipit
I have seen tree pipit seeming commute from outside trees into the farm. There is lots of evidence some of this species winters here. I saw more of them in the trees yesterday at wadi darbat.
Some times you can get good views as with this steppe eagle.
Mostly the views are poor due to distance like with these two bonelli's eagle.
One thing is for sure, no matter how frustrating the birding is, I can't ignore the place.