20 Sep 2014

A few more visitors – Dhahran Hills

The last few days on the ‘patch’ have produced a few more unusual birds and the trickle of migrants appears to be increasing slightly. I have seen a few new species for me this autumn with one being a European Roller. Most other birders in the area have seen the species already this autumn but so far I had failed but this changed on the 15th September when I saw one in the trees near the percolation pond. The pond still had 21 Ferruginous Ducks, seven Garganey and three northern Shovellers as well as two juvenile White-winged Terns. Two Purple Herons were also seen in the reeds of the pond along with a Grey Heron on one evening. Other new migrants included my first Tawny Pipit for the autumn, several Isabelline Wheatears and Spotted Flycatchers including an extremely well marked bird. A small influx of Little Ringed Plovers occurred and other waders included both Common Redshank and Spotted Redshank (see earlier post), Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint and Kentish Plover. Large numbers of Sand Martin are now feeding each evening over the pond and several small flocks of European Bee-eaters are passing over at regular intervals. An immature Western Marsh Harrier and female Pallid Harrier passed over late one evening but otherwise it is still very quiet for birds of prey. The only shrike seen was a Turkestan Shrike in the spray fields.
European Roller
Purple Heron
Isabelline Wheatear
Wood Sandpiper
Turkestan Shrike

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