Sunday 24 May 2015

Now four Amur falcon at Jarziz farm

I have been reporting on the Amur falcon I have been seeing at Jarziz farm. Here is a further update as part of this blog.

I saw my first two on April 28th. In total I have visited the farm six times more since then. Each time there were between two and four birds present. I went there yesterday and there were two.

Each time, as far as I can tell, they have been different birds. There have been 20 in the seven visits.

The most (four) were on May 19th. This blog looks at my birding on that day both at the farm and later at East Khawr (Khawr Dahariz).

female Amur falcon

The only adult male I observed was on April 28th. This is consistent with the adult males returning first. Of the other 19 birds only six have been immature males. The other thirteen have been either adult females or immature females. 

female Amur falcon 2

When I go early in the morning, they are usually found perched on the big pivot bar. It's an easy find. As time goes on they venture into the field to hawk for grasshoppers and other flying insects.

three Amur falcon clustered together

On May 19th, four Amur falcon were all perched on the bar at the same time.

four Amur falcon

Three birds were female and one was male.

immature male Amur falcon 

On each of the days I visited, there was always at least one European roller.

European roller

Very large numbers of both African silverbill and Singing bushlark have always been present on each day.

African silverbill

Not only is the farm an obviously guaranteed place to see Amur falcon on spring passage but it is a guaranteed place to see singing bush lark for a longer period. Both are prized by visiting birders.

Singing bush lark

In the early evening of May 19th I visited East Khawr for a short while.

great white egret

There are still some intermediate egret at various khawrs around Salalah but here was the rarer (for Salalah) great white egret. It would appear small numbers of both over-summer.

The glossy ibis are also still present at east Khawr. There is no sign of any breeding with these either. Some thirty or so birds of this species also seem to be over-summering.

glossy ibis

Very few waders were present. However, one interesting one was a grey plover.

grey plover 1

It was essentially in winter plumage.

grey plover 2

The orange at the base of the bill intrigued me. I can't find it referred to in any guidebook or on-line reference. However in the end I did find two images of birds showing this feature.

grey plover 3

The main waders however were lesser sand plover. Most had some degree of summer plumage.

lesser sand plover

They don't breed this far south and must have been on passage.

lesser sand plover 2

On Friday I went to Khawr Rori for the first time in over a month. I will write about what I saw next.

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