Thursday 23 April 2015

Lesser kestrel and more at Sawnout farm

I visited Sawnout farm again on Monday afternoon. This massive farm is not accessible but you can walk around the perimeter looking in and can get lucky with birds on the edge or even on the fence.

I go to look for any passing Amur falcon which is known to come through on passage and especially in spring. It has been seen at the farm in previous seasons. 

Once again I failed to see one. One day it will happen as I am in Oman for the long-term.

Some sort of compensation was received by spotting a male lesser kestrel.

lesser kestrel

Another interesting observation were the European roller. I counted seven all together all in one corner area just outside the farm.

Two European roller

As I walked along the western perimeter fence (and away from the rollers), I came across some house sparrow. House sparrow may be a very common bird in the world but in Salalah it is rare. Indeed this farm is only one of two places in the city that I have seen them. I suspect the city population is well below 100.

female house sparrow

By contrast, Ruppell's weaver is extremely common and in someways replaces the house sparrow though their nesting method is completely different.

female Ruppell's weaver

Another observation on the western fence at the farm was a very young Namaqua dove. This bird was almost certainly born in 2015.

young Namaqua dove

The fence keeps proving itself to be valuable to me for spotting birds. Further along the same fence was a little green bee-eater

little green bee-eater

Futher along still I came across a very large flock of African silverbill. I see a lot of these at present at the two farms.

flock of African silverbill

You may recall I also saw a mixed flock including scaly-breasted munia at Jarziz farm last week.

African silverbill

While considering flocks, a flock of glossy ibis arrived from the direction of Khawr Dahariz. This is a regular commute for this bird.

glossy ibis

All the time I was making these observations I was looking out for Amur falcon. Just as I was about to leave I spotted a second falcon in the far distance. It proved to be a peregrine falcon. I would guess it is the same bird that has been seen on and off here for nearly three months now.

peregrine falcon

I will continue to visit the farms searching among other for an Amur falcon but time is starting to run out for this season.

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