You know how much I enjoyed birding with you guys but sometimes it's better to just let go... this is how I roll these days, the 'hide' above one of the worlds biggest dairy farms where I was yesterday...
But before I go, can I bother you losers for some ID's from KSA?
First up, not a goldie as I first thought but an almost adult Eastern Imperial? Lacks any sign of a golden shawl, not patchy enough underwings, still retains suggestion of immatures pale 'windows'. Correct?
Next up I thought was a goldie and still think is a goldie.
Finally an adult steppe?
At risk of proving myself to be incompetent as well as a loser, why aren't these all Steppe Eagles?
First one looks very short-tailed and deep-winged and that heavy barring on the underside of the flight feathers surely fits Steppe better?
As for the Goldie - accepting that it's dangerous to judge from a single picture, especially one from an unfavourable angle, I would ask what makes it Golden. Would Golden show more of a golden shawl down the neck sides rather than a hint of a cap that could be either lighting or the paler nape of an adult Steppe? Did the tail look long? Were the underwings more contrasty than the pic shows? What did you see in the field?
Anyway, it's New Years Eve; stuff raptors and pipits - have a pint or two of Saudi's finest sparkling mineral water to see the year out mate.
Yeah I'll have a mineral water for you!
Any other suggestions warmly received. They are driving me mad.
Both Golden and Eastern Imperial are "long-winged" looking Aquilas.
I agree with Mark that these are all Steppes.
Thanks guys. Steppes it is then.
Sorry to witter on... but the juv steppe on this page is a totally different shape to the other two.
True, but only because it's still regrowing its secondaries.
Here's an odd one.
South arabian wheatear? Grey streaked cap, off white chest, black extends low down throat.
Only problem is that sources suggest it is restricted to the southern mountains and this was taken near Riyadh where as far as I've seen there are no records. I have plenty of photos showing the grey streaked cap but none showing it's back.