13/01/2011 at Sulaibiya Pivot Fields

Yesterday I went to Jahra Pool Reserve to find it full of water!! Great but there were no birds as it had been dry for two weeks for building a dam and had to be drained.

I then went Jahra Farms in search of the Ashy Drongo, but couldn’t find it, who knows it may be there somewhere.

On 11/01/2011 Rashed had found a Eurasian Golden Plover and an Oriental Skylark at Pivot Fields so I went there today in search of the Oriental Skylark. I also saw the Indian Roller the one I photographed on 27/12/2010 at the same place.

At Pivot Fields 13/01/2011:

Indian Roller 1, Oriental Skylark 1, Eurasian Skylark 350, Eurasian Golden Plover 1, Northern Lapwing 100, Common Starling 160, Water Pipit 50, White Wagtail 20, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Cattle Egret 6, Grey Heron 1, Caspian Stonechat (variegatus) 3, Isabelline Wheatear 3, Desert Wheatear 2.

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis

Indian Roller	 Coracias benghalensis

As I was moving on the track many Eurasian Skylark were flushed away on my left hand side all showing the white in outer tail feathers and in fringes of flight feathers. Then on my right hand side a Skylark with pale outer tail feathers and fringes to flight feathers flew up and dropped few metres a head into the grass. As the bird did not show white in outer tail feathers I reckon it must be oriental so I waited  for about 20 minutes for the birds to show up. A truck then passed by and the bird was alerted and came off grass so I had a chance to see it very well, then got some photographs. I also noted that the bird was foraging on its own, later with a crested Lark and a White Wagtail, it never followed the Eurasian Skylark flock or mixed with them.

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula, all photographs below are for one bird. Note short primary projection.

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula

Note long pointed bill.

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula

Note breast patch streaks fine and paler than that of Skylark.

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula

Note the fine nape streaks, wing coverts centres paler that those of skylarks (much less contrasty).

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula