Wednesday 16 September 2015

Back at the farm

My visits to Jarziz farm within Salalah have been few this autumn. This is unlike late spring when I visited regularly partly to see wave after wave of Amur falcon passing through (with the bonus sighting of the country's first ever Eleanora's falcon).

On Saturday afternoon, I visited the farm and also went next door to The Dhofar Cattle Feed Company farm.

At Jarziz, there were two European roller on a pivot bar.

European roller 1

Many European roller stay in the Dhofar area for weeks during the autumn before moving on to Africa. In spring they don't stop.

European roller 2

I arrived so early on Saturday that one or two birds like this Asian grey shrike were still asleep.

sleeping aucheri(Asian grey shrike)

Jarziz farm is much smaller than of old as most of it was sold off for development. It now consists mostly of one remaining but huge pivot field. Only part of the field is cropped at any one time.

The area of the field with the shortest grass is usually the best for birds. As I walked through that section on Saturday I noticed very little except for singing bush lark until I spotted a resting Montagu's harrier at the far side to me.

Montagu's harrier resting

The facial pattern alone was enough to separate it from the other ring-tailed harriers.

Montagu's harrier in flight

There are always little green bee-eater to be seen at the farm.

Little green bee-eater

It was only recently that I discovered that Dhofar Cattle feed Company can be accessed from Jarziz farm and Saturday was the first time I had given it a proper look.

Singing bush-lark

The Dhofar Cattle Company farm has a completely different lay-out to Jarziz farm. It mostly consists of smaller rectangular fields fed water by sprinklers. There are also a few rows of trees of which some are very tall.

The fields attract very large numbers of Eurasian collared dove and smaller numbers of laughing dove.

Both here and at Jarziz farm I saw three chestnut-bellied sandgrouse.

For some reason, the singing bush lark there were nearly all seen at the edge of the fields.

African silverbill were plentiful heading to the tall trees and surrounding bushes when spooked.

African silverbill

These same tall trees housed the first rosy starling I have seen in the city itself this autumn.

golden oriole 1

A golden oriole shot out of one of these trees while I was there. It proceeded to spend time on the ground in the near-by field. Golden oriole don't often spend much time out in the open though I have seen this behaviour a few times before.

golden oriole 2

I am intrigued what the Cattle Feed Company area will produce over the next few months especially when I visit at times of day when the sprinklers are on.

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