Wednesday 27 March 2013

Lesser Kestrels etc

I visited Mt Amasa yesterday morning. The Spring flowers are starting to wither and the grasses are turning to yellow but it was still lovely to be up there first thing - not too hot and with a cool breeze blowing. A thin stream of Swifts and Pallid Swifts started the day. Very few migrants around but a flock of 5-6 Lesser Kestrels were hunting the slopes - really elegant little falcons.

This male air-braking before hovering.

Mid hover - using every flight feather including alulae.


The following two photos show one of the females hunting.


The lower slopes of the mountain have attracted a good number of Hill (Pale Rock) Sparrows (an excellent year for them). Their buzzing song is very distinctive and I heard and saw several individuals singing from rocks or shrubs.

A few Rock Sparrows flitted about the grass patches. Only one stayed still long enough for a photo.

Many Spectacled Warblers around too.

Other breeders here at Black-eared Wheatears.

A migrant, finally! Whitethroat. 

Other migrant passerines included Orphean Warbler and Northern Wheatear. Raptors included Pallid Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Steppe Buzzards and a single Spotted Eagle but, like the passerine migration, it was slow.

Last but not least - a pair of  Little Owls.

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