Tuesday 19 April 2016

Passage rolls through Jarziz

I went to Jarziz farm which is not an easy task at the moment despite being so close to home. A new youth centre is being built in front of it and roads are partially closed off. It was a case of park and walk. It was worth the exercise.

Salalah is off the main route for most non-wader passage in spring. However it is peak passage time in the Middle East so this is the time one is mostly likely to see some.

European  roller

Sure enough three European roller were scattered around the farm and the near-by Dhofar cattle company site which also has crops.

singing bush lark

Of course local birds are still making themselves heard. Indeed the farms are very noisy with the sound of large numbers of singing bush lark at the moment.

barn swallow

Another sign of passage though was the 40 barn swallow I counted hawking over the fields.

common myna

Meanwhile a few common myna are ever present. However Tristram's starling is a little less regular at the farm but not this time.

chestnut bellied sandgrouse in flight

Jarziz farm is the most guaranteed place I know in Oman to see chestnut-bellied sandgrouse.

chestnut-bellied sandgrouse

At the moment they spend a lot of time right in the centre of the largest field where for some reason it is kept fallow.

I am not sure they are under threat from the passing harriers. Certainly the singing bush lark are.

Montagu's harrier 1

There was quite a mix of harriers too. There were three pallid harrier, one marsh harrier and one Montagu's harrier which me identification problems. Part of the problem was the birds kept criss crossing each other but even with still photos ring-tailed harriers can be tricky.

Montagu's harrier 2

I walked over to the Dhofar cattle company site after finishing at Jarziz farm. The distance is not far but this site is often over-looked by visiting birders. For me it was a boon yesterday.

male pallid harrier

There was a male pallid harrier there which I took to be the same one I had seen earlier at Jarziz.

scaly-breasted munia

Among the crops, the singing bush lark were joined by large numbers of both African silverbill and scaly-breasted munia.

ortolan bunting facing

However a high point for me was the sighting of an ortolan bunting on a path in the fields. They are uncommon this far south. Their main passage route in Oman is further north through the desert farms and other desert stops. I fleetingly saw one on my last visit to Jarziz and was a little uncertain whether to add it to my day list. This time there was no doubt.

ortolan bunting 

In a further sure sign of passage, as I started the very long walk back to the car, the hedge on the edge of the company site held a blackcap and an eastern olivaceous warbler.

I now know for sure the importance of this Friday's forthcoming desert trip. Peak passage gives me by best chance for something new.

No comments:

Post a Comment