16 Nov 2012

Ferruginous Duck a new patch 'tick' - Dhahran Hills

A visit to the pond last night with my daughters produced a lot of good birds. We only stayed in the car and visited mainly the spray fields and percolation pond but ended up seeing some very good birds including a new species for me on the 'patch' Ferruginous Duck. There were quite a few duck on the pond with 12 Mallard, 14 Northern Shoveller and two Ferruginous Ducks. Ferruginous Duck was a common species on the pond thirty years ago with up to 50 being seen regularly but the species has declined in numbers and is now rare with these being the first birds seen since I have been here (two and a half years). Other good birds on the pond included a Squacco Heron, 22 Western Cattle Egrets, one Greater Cormorant and a Great Crested Grebe.  There were also five Greater Spotted Eagles in the trees at the edge of the pond with one adult and four first year birds including a first year fluvescens bird. This is easily the highest number I have seen together in Dhahran and is a good indication numbers are increasing in the area.
Ferruginous Duck

The photo above is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by Alessandro Musicorio. I was unable to photograph birds as I was with my daughters so have used this photograph.

The spray fields had a single female Desert Wheatear, one Siberian Stonechat and a single Tawny pipit and the wet ditch had a Grey Wagtail. The settling pond had a Spotted Redshank, a Marsh Sandpiper and five Wood Sandpipers and a Steppe Grey Shrike was sitting on top of a bush in the scrubby desert.

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