27/09/2013 at Mutla’a Ranch and 28/09/208 at Tulha, SAANR
On Friday I visited with Wade Mutla’a Ranch. Very few birds around but we came across with interesting looking snake. Later on I got kind help from AbdulRahman to identify it as Arabian Sand Boa. Common snake in South-East Arabia but rarely encountered due to its nocturnal life. Secondly I learned that it spends anyway the most of its time in sand. In the posted photographs one can see how eyes are located high so that the snake can hide most of its body in the sand while waiting to ambush its prey which is mainly small rodents.
Today I visited Tulha, SAANR alone. The most interesting bird was juvenile Shikra. I saw 5 Steppe Buzzards, White-throated Kingfisher, Redstart and c. 30 Short-toad Larks.
Arabian Sand Boa (Eryx jayakari)
Arabian Sand Boa
Juvenile Shikra (Accipiter badius) Note gular stripe and pale (not yellow) iris.
Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)