22 Jun 2012

Masked Shrike - Dhahran Hills

A trip to the Percolation Pond produced a couple of good birds. The first was a Masked Shrike sitting on the wire fence surround to the pond and giving quite good views. I have seen this bird on a couple of occasions now but these are the best views I have had. It seems to be catching mainly day flying moths but also eats the occasional beetle if one is unlucky enough to cross its path.
Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Another good bird seen was a male Little Bittern catching small fish on the muddy edge of the pond. It later flew off into the main Phragmites reed stand, where its mate is probably nesting. It is good news the birds are again showing all the signs of breeding on the pond, where I first recorded them as a breeding species for the area last year. The fact all the reeds were grubbed out in the winter left me with the feeling that Little Bittern and Clamorous Reed Warbler would not breed again this year but both species appear to be doing so. Other interesting birds seen were a single Barn Swallow, three Little Ringed Plovers, four Black-winged Stilts (plus four more - two breeding pairs) and four Kentish Plovers.

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