March seemed to be a good time for Marsh Harriers and Greater Spotted Eagles down in the Dubai Pivot fields. Whilst I am used to seeing many Harriers this time of year, Greater Spotted Eagles are a different story. Whilst fairly common down the road at the Ras Al Khor sanctuary, in my experience this is the most GS Eagle activity I have seen at the Pivots. There has been a subtle change in habitat at the Pivots where man-made dunes have now grown lots of shrubs in what was otherwise a grass field, maybe this has influenced the activity, certainly the Marsh Harriers focused on this area.
However the raptor highlight was a Lesser Spotted Eagle, only the 2nd confirmed record in the UAE. I photographed the bird descending and landing in the aforementioned dunes, it did seem a little odd to me but I did just assume it was a GS Eagle. It was only later when the images were viewed by a Raptor specialist that it became apparent this was probably the first photographed LS Eagle in the UAE, now confirmed.
Sadly it’s time for the Eagles to move on along with many of the Harriers, until next winter !