14 April 2014

Zitting Cisticola & Four Crested Honey Buzzards – Phil’s Fields

We spent midday of 4 April birding two very large grassy fields inland from Sabya along the main Ad Dabi to Sabya road (17 07.58N, 42 41.62E) known as Phil’s Fileds. The fields were on the right hand side of the road going towards Sabya and had large pivot irrigation equipment stored by them. The fields were very green with tall plants growing in them and some quite wide tracks where the pivot irrigation wheels had driven. The area is good for Zitting Cisticola & Singing Bushlarks but the first birds seen on getting out of the car were four Crested Honey Buzzards. All four birds were using the midday thermals to migrate and remained quite high but low enough for the main identification features to be seen.
As soon as we entered the field we heard Zitting Cisticola with a number of birds song flighting over the field and occasionally landing on the vegetation where they could be viewed. A walk across the fields soon produced 10+ Singing Bushlarks flushed from the grass and the small size and bright underwing coverts could clearly be seen. Several birds gave song flights but most were silent and flew and went to cover in the long grass.
Zitting Cisticola
Singing Bush Lark
Singing Bush Lark
Other good birds seen included two Little Green Bee-eaters, six Black Bush Robins and 20+ African Silverbills. 37 Western Cattle Egrets, several Crested Larks and four African Palm Swifts were flying about. Five Common Myna, 20+ Ruppell’s Weavers and a large flock of House Sparrows were also seen and shortly after leaving the fields we found a pale Long-legged Buzzard flying over.
Black Bush Robin
African Silverbill
African Palm Swift
Long-legged Buzzard