18 Oct 2011

Plenty of Duck - Dhahran Hills

Yesterday at the 'patch' was really good for birds. The scrubby desert area held a female Pied Wheatear and a female Desert Wheatear which was the first returning bird I have seen in Saudi Arabia this autumn. The percolation pond had plenty of duck with 61 Northern Shoveller, 11 Garganey, 15 Eurasian Teal and 13 Northern Pintail which was a new species for the patch for me. Another new 'patch' bird was a Jack Snipe which was present with four Common Snipe, one Temminck's Stint, one Little Stint, one Marsh Sandpiper, one Little Ringed Plover, one Common Redshank and one Wood Sandpiper. A Greater Spotted Eagle was also seen flying over the pond and luckily landed in a tree. It was an adult bird and looked quite different to all the juveniles and 2nd calendar year birds I have seen before in Saudi Arabia. I got very good views of the bird, but in very poor light as it was almost dark, and I assume the bird was going to spend the night in the tree. Other good birds included six Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, one Little Tern and one White Wagtail which is the first returning bird of the autumn for me in Saudi Arabia although I saw plenty in Bahrain last weekend.
 Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

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