08 March 2022

Early morning Pentad Bash

15 February 2022 - Northern Farm

I met Andre Marx at the gate to Northern Farm at 6am for a quick 2-hour Pentad bash and whilst some migrants are still present. During the bash, we also had two objectives, Yellow Wag and Red-footed Falcon amongst the Amur's.

We tried a good few paddocks for the Wagtail, without success although we did get Cape Wag and a few Red-capped Lark's. There were many Barn Swallows feeding on the wing around the paddocks

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

including a lone Cliff Swallow

South African Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon spilodera)

We noted there were many Amur's roosting on the overhead lines and trees within the farm - no luck at the first stop for the Red-footed

Male Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)

Female Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)

We checked another location where there were many more. The female Amur's outnumber the males around 5:1

Male Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)

Female and Male Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)

But finally in amongst the Amur's a cracking sub-adult female with unusual plumage. One out of two objectives met

Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) and Female Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)

Female Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)

Heading back to the gate, we stopped for a magnificent Long-crested Eagle perched on a telephone pole. We were ready once it took off, to show its distinctive flight plumage

Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)

As it gained height, it was bombed by a Lanner Falcon that we hadn't seen - but the interaction didnt last long before the Lanner flew off

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

The birding was pretty good for the morning and we recorded 89 species including Great Reed, Marsh and Willow Warbler's. On the way back to the gate, a pair of Yellow-billed Ducks flew past with a nice grassland backdrop

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)

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