fredag 16 oktober 2015

1/11-14 Al Qua'a fodder field

Ok, it's been almost a year since I visited this place so it's about time I finish these blog posts about my days with Mark, birding in UAE in October/November -14. I'm soon off to a new birding trip, 10 days in Oman in the second half of November so more travel blog posts are to be expected. Though perhaps not quite as detailed as these ones have been.

Last major stop during my two days with Mark was the Al Qua'a fodder field. A place which I had looked forward to very much since my visit in UAE in 2013. At that time, there had been two Amur Falcons (amurfalk, Falco amurensis) at the fodder field and Crested Honey Buzzard (tofsbivråk, Pernis ptilorhynchus) I believe is a regular species found here.

This time though, there were neither Amur Falcons nor Honey Buzzards over the fields. Quite a few Kestrels (tornfalk, Falco tinnunculus), a Marsh Harrier (brun kärrhök, Circus aeruginosus) and some Western Cattle Egrets (kohäger, Bubulcus ibis) together with a lot of Tawny Pipits (fältpiplärka, Anthus campestris), a few Desert Wheatears (ökenstenskvätta, Oenanthe deserti) and Daurian Shrikes (isabellatörnskata, Lanius isabellinus) were the most obvious species around. We also found a Stonechat (svarthakad buskskvätta, Saxicola rubicola) and at least one Richard's Pipit (större piplärka, Anthus richardi) but what finally caught our attention was the Montague's/Pallid harrier (ängs/stäpphök) which showed itself from afar. After some studying some poor photos of the bird we could finally say that it was a Pallid Harrier (stäpphök, Circus macrourus), which was a new species for me.

Daurian Shrike (isabellatörnskata, Lanius isabellinus)
This Daurian Shrike should be viewed together with the Turkestan shrikes in the post from Dubai Pivot fields. The differences between the species (for 1cy birds) can be seen when compared.
Daurian Shrike (isabellatörnskata, Lanius isabellinus)
Marsh Harrier (brun kärrhök, Circus aeruginosus)
It took some time to get good enough photos to be able to identify this bird as a Pallid Harrier. But, then again, it was my first and it is not that easy to tell from Montague's...
The last thing we did before leavin Al Qua'a was to free this little Quail. We saw a man placing this trap (raptor trap) some distance away from us and Mark wanted to see if we could find it and I didn't mind, to say the least. This time, there was no raptor trapped but I guess they capture quite a few... even though it's supposted to be illegal. The trap itself was also destroyed. Not a very nice finish to this place.

Where this trap was placed we also spotted a Short-toed Lark (korttålärka, Calandrella brachydactyla)
Captured Quail (Uppfödd vaktel)
On the way back to Al Ain, a Brown-necked Raven (ökenkorp, Corvus ruficollis) flew over the road. A new species for this trip.

While driving back towards the west coast, it the sun set. Now, this was the plan all along as we were aiming for the Al Wathba Camel Race track. The obvious target species being the Egyptian Nightjar (ökennattskärra, Caprimulgus aegyptius). With the help of playing the call of the Nightjar and a quite powerful lamp, we managed to get a good view of the bird. A perfect ending to a very nice day and two excelent birding days, which I will always remember. Thanks Mark!!

New species during this part were the Pallid harrier and the Egyptian Nightjar.

In the end, I could count to some 25 new species during these two days and a lot of laughs on top of that. :-)

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