22 Feb 2015

A flock of Red-rumped Swallows – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst birding at the weekend I saw a flock of Red-rumped Swallows with a few Barn Swallows mixed in over the power station. The species breeds in the southwest highlands and locally in central Arabia, but is an uncommon migrant elsewhere. They are early spring migrants with birds seen most years in February and numbers peaking in March with the last records in mid-April. Numbers are much reduced in autumn passage with only a few birds seen and rarely flocks like those that occur in spring and birds occurring from August to October. There are a handful of records in the winter months of November, December and January but they are scarce during this period. The birds were the first ones I have seen this spring and numbered about 15 birds. These birds are always difficult to photograph due to their quick flight action and rapid movements but I managed to take a few shots shown below. The flock was still present the next day in the same area but birds like this tend not to stay around very long particularly in the spring.
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

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