23 Mar 2013

Northern Wheatears Passing Through – Dhahran Hills


The ‘patch’ has been quite slow the last week with only a few migrants seen each day. This was a bit disappointing as the start of migration was good. One species that has been passing through for a couple of weeks but has become more common in the last few days is Northern Wheatear with three birds seen together on a couple of occasions. The birds we get in Saudi Arabia appear to be bigger and brighter than normal birds seen in the UK at least and a study using geolocators (transmitters that can tract the bird if the bird is subsequently re-caught) has identified that the birds mat come from northern Canada which was a big surprise.  At least two and maybe three Squacco Heorns are still about and a Grey Wagtail is still feeding in the wet ditch but very little else. Four Kentish Plovers were running about on the sand, that were migrants and will hopefully stay to breed, as we saw birds with young near Nayriyyah last weekend. Very few Black-headed Wagtails remain and the last Water Pipits can still be seen on the settling ponds but they will have departed in the next few days to areas further north to breed.
Northern Wheatear - male
Northern Wheatear - male
Northern Wheatear - male
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron


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