12 Dec 2013

Plenty of Eurasian Skylarks – Qaryat Al Ulya

Phil and I went on our annual trip ‘up north’ to check out the pivot irrigation fields and stony plains of the Dibdibah. This trip is normally extremely hard work with very few species seen but some good birds can often make the journey worthwhile. This time we saw 21 species of birds only, but a massive improvement on the nine species we saw last time. The largest number of birds seen were Eurasian Skylarks with flocks of over 100 birds in two different spray fields and plenty of other smaller groups in other fields. Other birds in the fields were Tawny Pipits, Crested Larks a few White Wagtails, two Water Pipits and good numbers of Common Kestrels with at least 15 different birds.
Eurasian Skylark
Eurasian Skylark
Eurasian Skylark
Tawny Pipit
Two Eastern Imperial Eagles including an adult were seen resting in the cops of one spray field but never allowed close approach. Doves were thin on the ground but Laughing, Eurasian Collared and Namaqua Doves were seen in small numbers. A grey shrike was flushed off a fence but flew off and was not identified. The Dibdibah was very quiet with only three Greater Hoopoe Larks seen and very little else. There was quite a good new growth of green plants on the Dibdibah germinating due to the large amount of rain we had a couple of weeks ago and looks promising for some good birds in the spring. Eastern Morning Wheatear, Desert Wheatear and Desert Lark were seen at Jebal Nayriyah but no sign of the Pharaoh Eagle Owl of a couple of years ago.

Eastern Imperial Eagle - adult

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