I am on the look out for Amur falcon passing through but I have still not had any luck. The city farms have seen them in the past.
greater spotted eagle
The other one was a kestrel which was being pestered by an Indian house crow.
I walked anti-clockwise round the farm as usual. However I stopped early on to examine a small lark.
black-crowned sparrow lark 1
I thought it had potential to be a lesser short toed lark which would have been a new species for me in Oman.
black-crowned sparrow lark 2
black-crowned sparrow lark
Black-crowned sparrow lark are nearly as confiding as crested lark which was also present on site.
singing bush lark
The most common lark at Jarziz farm at the moment is neither. Singing bush lark wins that accolade.
However it is mostly seen when it flies high and explodes into song. You hear hear the numbers in the fields even though you can't see them.
Another brown bird which is common on the farm is graceful prinia.
graceful prinia 2
Ruppell's weaver are everywhere. I have noticed how close to the ground they will weaver a nest if it is not disturbed. Very few people visit the farm and the nest below was only just over 1 metre from the ground. I have seen lower still at Raysut settling pools.
A low-lying Ruppell's weaver's nest
female Ruppell's weaver
At least 40 African silverbill were flocking there too. I don't know hen that species breeds but I am seeing large flocks where ever they are present so I assume their breeding season in Dhofar is not in spring.
European collared dove
three chestnut-bellied sandgrouse flying
In the cluster of trees was one of the few definite passage birds. It was a red-backed shrike which was skulking inside one of the largest bushes in the shade. It was in the same place four days before. I have no real idea why it is so skulking or why it has stopped off. My only thought is that it knows it started out it's passage early. Red-backed shrike tend to be quite a late migrant.
aucheri Asian grey shrike
The usual Asian grey shrike were near-by.
Having left the cluster of trees I headed across to the pivot bar using the track through the field. This is my normal route back to the car.
The sprayers were on. In this situation you often get many birds attracted to the perches on the bar and by the water.
This time there were a large number of crag martins and a few barn swallow hawking around the sprayers.
pale crag martin
I wanted a thorough check to see if all the crag martins were resident pale crag martin or whether there were any migrant European crag martin.
a different pale crag martin
This is more difficult here than in Saudi Arabia as the local sub species is not as pale. In general though, pale crag martin are less robust, have a smaller dark ear covert and much less dark under-wing coverts.
a third pale crag martin
When they are perched or on the ground you can see the size and shape as well as the ear covert differences. However most of the time the birds are in the air.
three pale crag martin
Using photography to help, I couldn't find a single European crag martin among this group.
Other birds were perched on the bar. I mentioned the kestrel and Indian house crow earlier. There were also a couple of common myna and a little green bee-eater struggling to eat a large dragonfly.
little green bee-eater
My next blogs recount my birding over the weekend that has just finished.