15 Feb 2016

Birds of prey – Haradh

One of the reasons for going to Haradh pivot irrigation fields recently was to see if any birds of prey were present. This is a know area for small numbers of Eagles and Harriers to spend the winter with others passing on migration. Early February is the start of the migration season here in Saudi Arabia and we were hopeful of seeing a few good birds. We were not to be disappointed with the first bird seen being an Eastern Imperial Eagle. It was sitting on a pivot irrigation spray bar but would not allow us to approach it at all and on four different occasions flew off well before we were within range for photographs. Whilst walking through the spray fields trying to get good views of the eagle we came across a group of 17 Lesser Kestrels and saw more throughout the day making a total of at least 35 birds. We also saw three Common Kestrels in different fields. Harriers were also seen in good numbers with two Pallid Harriers seen over the desert just as it was getting light. We saw a further three Pallid Harriers and five Western Marsh Harriers in various pivot irrigation fields throughout the day including one that I photographed below that flew right by the car giving the opportunity of full frame photographs.
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel

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