13 Feb 2016

Spanish Sparrow breeding and much more – Haradh

Whilst birding the area of Haradh recently where we concentrated on looking in the pivot irrigation fields we also saw a few other good birds around the filed edges and surrounding areas. The first good birds we saw were just outside the main entrance to the huge HADEC farm complex where a nesting colony of Spanish Sparrows were found with at least 200 birds. Plenty of old nests were also in evidence but whether they were breeding at the time I could not confirm. Also amongst the Spanish Sparrows were several House Sparrows. Around the edge of the spray fields we saw a number of Steppe Grey Shrikes and Daurian Shrikes as well as a few Isabelline and Desert Wheatears as well as a single Red-tailed Whatear on some rocks on a bank. Only a couple of Barn Swallows were flying around and Eurasian Skylarks were thin on the ground with only five seen all day. The lack of Eurasian Skylarks was partially made up for by the hundreds of Greater Short-toed Larks with well over 300 birds seen in various flocks. One of the better birds seen were a few Black-crowned Sparrow Larks. Although not an uncommon species they are always nice to see and some of the birds gave excellent views in good light, allowing some good photos to be taken, a rare situation for this species. I would like to thank Yoav Perlman for correcting some misidentifications by me recently including the lark which is in fact a Crested Lark and not a Greater Short-toed Lark as I originally posted.
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
Greater Short-toed Lark
Crested Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Black-crowned Sparrow Lark

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