Sunday 14 December 2014

Singing bush lark at the farm

I took it relatively easy on Saturday morning after the long trip the day before.

I visited Sawnaut farm which is very close to where I live. As I have said before it is out of bounds to the general public but birders peer over the fence.

I visit it with three sets of target birds in mind. First, sociable lapwing are known to come in large numbers but none have been seen this winter. Second, oriental turtle dove have been spotted there this winter in very small numbers against the hundreds of other doves.  Third I am interested in any falcon other than lesser kestrel, kestrel and hobby which I have already seen in Oman. 

Unfortunately I succeeded with none of these targets this time. Odds of success are higher when one of the pivot bars is spraying close to one of the perimeters. This was not the case on Saturday. 

singing bush lark

There were some highlights however. A very confiding singing bush lark sat up on the fence within two metres of me.

second view of singing bush lark

I am told it is a young bird. The streaking is pronounced and comes together in a black patch at the side of the throat.

marsh harrier carrying a lizard

Otherwise I was particularly noticing the amount of harassment birds were giving each other. This marsh harrier was being harassed in the sky by an eastern imperial eagle presumably to drop its food.

eastern imperial eagle

In turn later I saw a resting eastern imperial eagle being mobbed by group of Indian house crow.

Indian house crow

I only occasionally see little green bee-eater in the city but there were two next to the farm on Saturday morning.

little green bee-eater

On the fence at the western side were the normal array of house sparrow and ruppell's weaver but this time there was an unusually large group of 50 African silverbill. This is the largest single flock I have ever seen.

Daurian shrike

I invariably see a shrike or two on the same fence. At this stage of the winter there are now more Daurian shrike than Turkestan shrike in stark contrast to two months ago.

On Saturday afternoon, I moved over to the other side of the city to Raysut. Here I added another species to my Oman list in an interesting afternoon.

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