I really like sandgrouse - beautifully plumaged birds and a real prize (for me) to get decent non-flight views. My usual views are flying or middle distance birds on the ground, heat haze and cryptic plumage making decent views difficult and photos impossible. On the way back from Besor Reservoir this morning I saw four Pin-tailed Sandgrouse coming in to land in a lettuce field I was passing. I pulled the car over and was taking a few standard record shots when another pair circled in and landed within 10 m of me. Superb! They didn't seem at all fazed by either me or the farm vehicles passing by.
This is a (breeding?) pair - male with black throat and two breast stripes, female with white throat patch and three breast stripes. Gorgeous.
Besor held seven Ferruginous Duck - a very good number of this species here, unusally large numbers of Glossy Ibis (~50) and Night Heron (~25), the long-staying Great White Egret, Squacco and Grey Herons, Little Egrets, fewer Black-winged Stilts than usual, four White-breasted Kingfishers, a couple of Rufous Scrub-robins, couple of Cetti's Warblers but otherwise it was pretty quiet. No bee-eaters or Rollers at all and nothing singing from the reed beds. All in all though, an interesting session with the Pin-tails definitely making my day!
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