09 April 2016

Harriers on passage - Haradh

Whilst birding the pivot irrigation fields of Haradh in recent weeks I have come across good numbers of Pallid Harriers over the fields. The birds seem to be finding plenty of food in the area and obviously winter locally, although numbers during my early April visit were probably increased by some passage migrants moving through. Most of the birds seen were female birds although at least two Adult males were also seen. Some of the birds remained faithful to single pivot fields being seen in the same area at different times of day. The species is an uncommon passage migrant from late February to early May and again from September through November. Haradh is the best locality for seeing the species and previously during winter almost all records refer to adult males over cultivated fields, although now females appear to outnumber males. Montagu’s Harrier is an uncommon passage migrant that is regular in April, September and October with up to eight seen in a day at Haradh in September. I found one bird at quite a distance sitting on a pivot irrigation bar that looked like a Montagu’s Harrier but unfortunately it flew off without me seeing it and I could not re-find it.