Dubai and KAB - 15.11.14
Out for my second day with guests from the States, Warsan proved steady, if unspectacular - although a strange call from the reeds near a certain release site sounded remarkably like a Watercock.....
Al Qudra Lake was nowhere near as bad as I feared after Mike had said that hundreds of plastic mallards had been released. Yes, lots of (mostly) normal-looking Mallards and two huge metal enclosures, but still lots of good birds to be had, including my third Jack Snipe in 3 consecutive weekends, a sub-adult Steppe Eagle and up to 8 Lappet-faced Vultures over towards Bab al Shams, two of which turned east and came right overhead. A stop for lunch at the bike centre provided not only very tasty (and reasonable) sandwiches & wraps, but also a Hoopoe-lark behind the café whilst we waited for the food to arrive. On our way out, we found a Southern Grey Shrike chasing something on the ground, which turned out to be a nimble and very fortunate Cheeseman's Gerbil.
Ending the day in Umm al Quwain, at least 52 Crab Plover and 13 Great Knot were in the roost.
While searching for posts about great knot (which I would like to try this weekend in Umm Al Quwain) I stumbled on this post and my attention was drawn by the eagle picture.
An interesting bird in my opinion and I can't shake a greater spotted feeling, although it is giving me very mixed feelings!
Jizz (mainly head and wings) and long gapeline are in my opinion fitting steppe, aswell as the darker carpal patches and the whiter greater coverts.
But seeing this fine barring on the secondaries and inner primaries and apparant lack on the outer primaries together with the dark appearance make me consider greater spotted.
But the barring is extending rather far on the feathers, which is not realy good for for GSE, especially on the inner primaries.
On the otherhand, in such a dark steppe, shouldn't there be any adult like primaries and secondaries with dark terminal bands? And more extensive barring?