13 Mar 2015

Daurian, Turkestan & Woodchat Shrikes – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl 5 March I saw a good number of shrikes with 20 Daurian Shrikes, one Turkestan Shrike and four Woodchat Shrikes seen. Numbers of passage birds have now joined the wintering Daurian Shrikes in the area. The status of Daurian and Turkestan Shrikes in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is not well documented but since I have been here there seems to be a distinction between the arrival dates and occurrence of the two species. Daurian Shrike is a passage migrant and winter visitor. In autumn the first birds are seen in September and remain until March. In late February and early March a good number of passage birds joint the smaller number of wintering birds making sightings common in parks, and wetland areas with reed beds. Turkestan Shrike is less common than Daurian Shrike and is a passage migrant from September to October and from Early March until May. As a result there are only a couple of months when both species can be seen together in the area with these being March, September and October. Woodchat Shrike is an uncommon passage migrant passing in mid-February until mid-May, peaking in April, and again from mid-August to mid-October peaking in September. Variable numbers occur each year with some year’s birds being plentiful and in others uncommon.
Daurian Shrike
Daurian Shrike
Daurian Shrike
Daurian Shrike
Daurian Shrike
Daurian Shrike
Turkestan Shrike
Turkestan Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

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