23 Mar 2012

Pipits – Dhahran Hills

The area around the spray fields are getting better for pipits which are just starting to move through the area. The resident Tawny Pipits have been joined by a few migrating birds as numbers are much higher now than they have been throughout the winter. Up to 20 birds are now being seen on each visit to the area whereas in the winter four birds was the norm. A few Red-throated Pipits are also passing through with some being very smart males in breeding plumage. Water Pipits should be moving off soon to their breeding areas to the north, but they are still the commonest birds with up to 30 being flushed from the spray fields every time I enter the area.
 Tawny Pipit

Tawny Pipit

The spray fields also hold a few Tree Pipits which are just starting to pass through again. They are very skulking and are difficult to see unless flushed from the long grass, when they sometimes sit up on the tall grass or flowers. There were at least six birds seen in the fields yesterday.
 Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

There is also a nice group of Yellow Wagtails numbering over 30 birds in the spray fields by the flooded area. They are mainly Black-headed Wagtails (M.f.feldegg) but a couple of other sub-species are involved, unfortunately I have not been able to get good enough views to see what they are as they spend all their time in the long grass unless disturbed and then you can only see them in flight.

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