28 Apr 2015

Hundreds of Bee-eaters - Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm

Whilst birding Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm recently we were surprised by the number of Bee-eaters present. We have seen European Bee-eaters before at the location in small numbers but this trip there were several hundred European Bee-eaters and well over ten Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters. Good numbers of European Bee-eaters have been passing through a wide area of the Eastern Province in the last few weeks but these were the first Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters either Phil or I had seen. Apart from the Bee-eaters that were all migrants several other migrants were seen. One was a smart male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush on a stump by the side of the road but unfortunately it was always into the sun so the photo is not the best. Several other good birds were my first European Turtle Doves of the year when two were seen in a dead tree and two Ortolan Buntings in a spray field. Ne spray field had over 100 Greater Short-toed Larks and another plenty of Yellow Wagtails of several different races including lutea, beema and thunbergi. Another filed had eleven Lesser Kestrels sitting on the spray bars as well as flying over the field. Several other good birds were seen including good numbers of Spanish Sparrows, four Pied Wheatears, one Northern Wheatear, one Whinchat and two calling Common Quail. The pond had a Western Osprey plus several Little Terns and Barn Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were flying over. Although there was nothing really good on the farm we saw plenty of interesting species and it is always a good place to bird. Now we have written permission to enter the location from the farm manager it is also a lot easier to access.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
European Turtle Dove
European Turtle Dove
Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel
Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush
Yellow Wagtail - lutea
Yellow Wagtail - lutea

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