Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sociable lapwings still at the farm

You can only view the birds in the city's big Sahalnout farm from outside due to disease controls. To get good views often means being lucky that your target species is near the fence. In particular the best fence is on the western perimeter where there is cover both sides of it which can attract birds.

Finally, last Monday 14 of the sociable lapwing were close to the fence while I was visiting. Up to 110 have been reported this winter so this was only a splinter group but interesting nevertheless.

sociable lapwing

Some were still in winter plumage but others were starting to acquire the dark belly of summer.

sociable lapwing developing summer plumage

They seemed to be attracted to the large piles of hay on the western side.

sociable lapwing

They stayed in one place for over half an hour.

three sociable lapwing

Meanwhile from the western fence I could see a large gathering of waders under the sprinklers of a far off field. Many of the waders appeared to be wood sandpiper but it was difficult to make all the birds out. Among them were several rose ringed parakeet which is easy to pick out of course.

peregrine falcon

About 50 metres from the main group of birds but it the same field a peregrine falcon was resting.

Asian grey shrike (pallidirostris)

Turning my attention back to the western edge there was an Asian grey shrike on one of the small bushes outside the farm.

Steppe eagle

On the palms next to the fence three steppe eagle chose to rest for a few minutes.

second view of an Steppe Eagle

Two of them sat together on the same palm tree.

Eastern Imperial Eagle

As a general rule, on the plain, greater spotted eagle and Eastern Imperial Eagle are more likely to be found at farms and khawrs while steppe eagle are usually found elsewhere and noticeably near the city's main rubbish dump. Seeing one at the farm is not usual. It's bit more complicated in the hills where all three are seen. 

Eastern Imperial Eagle early last month at the farm

The farm can see almost any falcon and some other eagles at various times. Although I missed them both merlin and Amur falcon have been seen there over the past few months. It must be my best chance of seeing Amur falcon on return passage this coming spring.

booted eagle at the farm

A few booted eagle winter in southern Oman and the farm gives you as good a chance of seeing one as anywhere.

I haven't blogged about the farm for three weeks or so and so I am adding a few archive pictures during the meantime.

African silverbill

One day in January I came across a flock of over 60 African silverbill on the western fence. Yet other days I see none.

European roller

I haven't seen a roller for nearly a month now and the last one was seen on the farm.

tree pipit

My last archive picture from January is of a tree pipit. I hope some of the spring passage passerines which start arriving soon will be as obliging.


  1. Rob

    Great photos of the Sociable Lapwings Rob. It will be an amazing day when I find one of these on my local patch!


  2. I don't see any reason why some shouldn't drop into your patch some day. Here is hoping. Rob