Thursday 5 September 2013

Cinereous bunting and other migrants at the farm

The walk from work was arguably every bit as exciting today as yesterday. Admittedly there was no sign of the Egyptian nightjar seen yesterday afternoon but there were other new migrants. 

The best was certainly a (eastern) cinereous bunting seen in the farm's gardens. Friend and fellow birder Mansur Al Fahad, who joined me for the late afternoon, was with me to see it.

It was a lifer for him and it was only the third time I had seen this near threatened bird. The first time was in the same place in April!

cinereous bunting

Mansur has a much better camera than me but I am using my pictures so that it can be blogged the same day.

cinereous bunting facing me

An Isabelline wheatear was observed although probably a different one from yesterday. However today was the first time this autumn that I have seen a desert wheatear.  They winter in large numbers around here but in summer they breed in the north of the country. There was also a male northern wheatear around which is purely a passage bird.

desert wheatear

In among the increased number of yellow wagtail, which have probably been attracted by the near-by pool, was a single red throated pipit. This was another first for this autumn.

red throated pipit

Incidentally most of the yellow wagtail present were the beema sub species also known as Sykes wagtail. These breed in the extreme east of European Russia and western Siberia.

yellow wagtail (beema)

Another first today was an adult woodchat shrike. All the shrikes until now which have passed through have been immature. 

adult male woodchat shrike

One immature woodchat shrike has remained here for nearly two weeks now while the others are long gone.

second view of adult male woodchat shrike

Of the other migrants the thrush nightingale which had been here 6 days was present this morning but nowhere to be seen in the afternoon.


Two wryneck were on view at the same time.

spotted flycatcher and laughing dove

Three spotted flycatcher were present and one was an immature. Several common whitethroat were also around but still no other warblers have been through the farm. This is even though other types have been observed at Al Hayer. 

And it's Al Hayer I am visiting again tomorrow.

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