21 Apr 2013

Corncrake a new ‘patch’ species – Dhahran Hills


The ‘patch’ has been alive with birds the last few days, probably caused by the inclement weather we have been having with rain, wind and dust all combining to make it a period when bird would rather be resting than continuing their migration. One such bird was a Corncrake that was a new ‘patch’ species for me. The bird was flushed from the spray fields as I was walking across them to try to get a better look a small flock of Yellow Wagtails I could see from the edge. The flock of Yellow Wagtails had mainly thunbergi but one beema was present and two female type lutea were also present. Whilst walking through the field I also flushed a Common Quail and a Jack Snipe.
Corncrake (taken at Sabkhat Al Fasl May 2012)
Yellow Wagtail - lutea
The spray fields also had 75+ Red-throated Pipits and 10+ Ortolan Buntings as well as a single Tree Pipit. A large flock of 30+ Barn Swallows and five Sand Martins were hawking insects over the newly flooded back part of the fields. A female Western Marsh Harrier was also seen hunting over the fields. Three Whinchats were still present along with five Turkestan Shrikes and a Daurian Shrike.
Ortolan Bunting
The scrubby desert area had a very confiding Upcher’s Warbler that came within minimum focusing distance of the camera as well as a couple of Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters which were the first ones I have seen in Dhahran this spring.
Upcher's Warbler
Upcher's Warbler
Upcher's Warbler
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

5 comments:

  1. Jem, congratulations on the corncrake and great that you got a picture too. Its one that still eludes me here!

    Rob

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rob - I saw another Corncrake at Sabkhat Al Fasl 25th April. It is certainly worth looking out for them an now into May is the peak time in the Eastern Province.

      Jem

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  2. Fantastic shots of the Upchers but the Blue cheeked Bee Eater is just stunning. Well envious Jem.
    Steve, Truro.

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  3. Like the Upchers' but the feather detail on the last BCBEater is simply stunning - you could almost reach in and stroke the thing!!!

    Laurie -

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  4. Steve / Laurie,

    Thanks for the kind words on the photos.

    Jem

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