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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 19, 2013: 3 hours at Ras Siyyan

Adult Egyptian vulture.  Photo by H. Rayaleh
On March 19, 2013, the sixth day of a birding tour that I organized for well known birders, and only ten days after the migration counts I made with Mike, Ali and Eleyeh at Ras Siyyan, on the Djibouti side of Bab el Mandeb strait, I traveled again to Ras Siyyan and made less than three hours (3) of  observations at one of the locations (VP2: 12°, 28.567'  43°, 19.075') on the volcanic cone used to monitor migration during our earlier effort.

Compared to our earlier trip, the weather conditions on March 19 were better.  Migration started after 0800, with the arrival of Egyptian Vultures flying very low over the lagoon mainly from the west. And from 0815 to 1030 we counted 459 EGVs, 900 Booted Eagles, 541 unidentified raptors (probably mostly EGVs and Booted Eagles; 1 Saker Falcon landed next to us followed by a Levant Sparrowhawk.

During that time it seemed to us that the volcanic cone was totally shaded by the large number of raptors flying above it, before they crossed the strait to Yemen. 

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting in that it suggests that weather conditions may have affected the earlier observations. In just three hours to see so many vultures and eagles is amazing!

    The sighting of a single Levant sparrowhawk is interesting because, as you probably know, when they go through Israel they are seen in medium-large flocks almost entirely during the third week of April (I think). I wonder where the flocks form and maybe at other times their migration can be witnessed at Ras Siyyan.

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