25 February 2016

Western Marsh Harrier with prey – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl we saw a Western Marsh Harrier trying to pick up what looked like a dead fish from the side of the flooded sabkha. This spectacle was very interesting so we stopped and took a few photos of the proceedings. As the bird was interested in the prey it was less wary of us than is normal allowing us to take a few nice photographs of it as it flew around and whilst it was trying to pick up and retrieve the item on the mud. As we watched it became clear that the item of food was not a dead fish as first suspected but a dead Little Grebe and the bird made several attempts to collect and move the Little Grebe but the dead bird was a little too heavy for the Western Marsh Harrier and after about ten minutes it left the bird and flew off. As a result of the action and the closeness to the bird a good series of photographs was taken and some are shown below.