29 Nov 2014

Another Finsch’s Wheatear - Qaryat Al Ulya Pivot Fields

Our trip ‘up north’ had proved fairly successful with Hypocolius and Finsch’s Wheatear already seen and we had not even explored many of the pivot irrigation fields, that are mainly around Qarat Al Ulya. We continued in this direction stopping at any good-looking fields with access. The normal fields we have checked in the past were barren but a few new ones had appeared so we looked in these. Almost every field had good numbers of Eurasian Skylarks with groups of up to 60 birds but normally around 30 in each field. As the crops were short it was easy to examine the fields but the only other birds seen in numbers were Isabelline Wheatears and Water Pipits. A few Common Kestrels were around the fields as always and Laughing, Eurasian Collared and Namaqua Doves were regularly seen. Otherwise apart from a scattering of White Wagtails things were quiet. We spent quite a bit of time looking at Pipits but could not locate anything out of the ordinary. Another bird that was commoner than normal in the fields and nearby areas was Desert Wheatears. We normally see one or two on a trip up here but this time saw more than ten. Whilst checking the Wheatears I found another male Finsch’s Wheatear in a pivot field and although as normal for the species it was wary and timid, I managed to get a poor flight shot showing the tail pattern as well as one on the ground. At one stage we also saw a Mauryan Grey Shrike on top of a set of haystacks that was nice as this type of grey shrike has been scarce in the local area this year.
Finsch's Wheatear
Finsch's Wheatear
Water Pipit
Water Pipit
Mauryan Grey Shrike

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