Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Abu Quibes and migration

This is the second United Nations Development Programme Protected Area that we are working in. It is on the west side of the country, near Hama, and forms part of a mountain chain running north to south up the spine of the country. Dense maquais (ie bloomin’ thorny) scrub predominates, with oak and pines amid the groves on the sun-blasted slopes. Great team here and we are out doing samples in 1km squares as well as vantage point logging of migrating species – mainly raptors and storks

1300 Eagles in a day cant be bad. Primarily Steppe Eagles, but in recent days, Booted, Lesser and Greater Spotted, Short toed (Snake to the Syrians) Eagle, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Goshawk, Kestrel, Levant’s Sparrowhawk, Long legged and Steppe Buzzard have all added to the mix. Non raptors have included big numbers of Black and White Storks as well as a surprise group of c.300 White Pelicans.

Egyptian Vulture

Passerines have included Masked Shrike, Cretzchmar’s Buntings, Orphean Warblers, Thrush Nightingales, hundreds of Lesser Whitethroat (probably nominate and Hume’s), Sardinian Warbler etc. A bonus surprise was an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler.

Female black eared wheatear

Finches wheatear

Rock thrush (male)