1 Jun 2014

Eurasian Spoonbills - Sabkhat Al Fasl

An early morning trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl last weekend resulted in a few straggling migrants and four Eurasian Spoonbills. A single adult Eurasian Spoonbill was seen almost immediately on arrival at the first area of water but if flew off and was only seen again briefly in flight once until I was just about to leave when I found four adults together on the flooded sabkha. The flooded sabkha also had quite a few White-cheeked and Little Terns flying around feeding allowing some nice photos to be taken over the very smooth water. This area also held a single Caspian Gull, one Slender-billed Gull and about 1000 Greater Flamingos that have stayed very late this year. There were still quite a few waders at one end of the sabkha including 30+ Terek Sandpipers, five Ruddy Turnstones, 10+ Lesser Sand Plovers, 100+ Dunlin, 100+ Little Stints, 200+ Kentish Plovers, five Common Redshanks, three Marsh Sandpipers, a Eurasian Curlew and 20+ Little Ringed Plovers. Passerines were thin on the ground with a few Red-backed Shrikes, two Whinchats and several Barn Swallows and Sand Martins seen. A House Crow, plenty of Crested Larks and a few Rock Doves or feral pigeons? Were also seen. A new bird for me for the site was an Alexandrine Parakeet that flew over early morning but this is just as likely to be an escaped cage bird as a wild arrival.
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
Little Tern
Caspian Gull - 2nd Calendar Year
Slender-billed Gull
Terek Sandpiper
Little Ringed Plover
Crested Lark
Red-backed Shrike - male
Rock Dove

6 comments:

  1. Jem, the Alexandrine parakeet intrigues me. I must admit I was sceptical about a fairly recent entry of one on e-bird from Ras Tanura (along with a goliath heron!) now I am not so sure. We get escapes in Riyadh too but its possible its part of a local population (or the same single bird?) as Ras Tunura is close.

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    1. Rob

      I do not know about the record of Goliath Heron from Ras Tanura but this will almost certainly be a mistake. There are no records from the Eastern Province and as you know they are scrace on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Alexandrine Parakeet occurs on my 'patch' so they are about locally but they are resdent. Resident birds do move if breeding sites become scarce so there is a possibility they are spreading up the coast. Will be interesting to see if I see any more. I will keep it off the Sabkhat Al Fasl site records until further evidence is forthcoming.

      Jem

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    1. hi my names eli , i'm 13,and I live in Ras Tunura, and I'm sort of a nerd at birds, I can point out mostly any bird here in ras tunura,I know flight patterns, migrations, and I just found out the type of crow that lives here, its a eurasian jackdaw! it has the same silver neck as the crows here, and ounce our neibors had a baby crow that fell out of a tree and it had blue eyes. so ya, I'm glad to know some adults birdwatch to, this site is now a great help to me. oh and Ive been seeing a strange small wagtail like sparrow with a red tail, there very shy though, and ever since 3rd grade Ive seen sightings of a giant eagle attacking crows ,it flys predetor its weird , so thanks!

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    2. Eli

      I am very glad you are taking an interest in birds. I think the crow that lives in Ras Tanura is the Indian House Crow but it does look like a Eurasian Jackdaw. Ras Tanura is on of the best places to see the species in the Kingdom as they normally occur near the coast easpecially hwere there are ports. Please check to see if the small bird with a red tail is a Common Redstart as they look and behave like you have said.

      Keep up the ggod work

      Jem

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