4 Mar 2015

Spanish Sparrow flock – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis is a common winter visitor and now an established breeder in the Riyadh area and increasingly breeds elsewhere including parts of the Eastern Province where a large breeding colony was found at a farm 40 kilometres inland of Jubail in 2014. This winter a small flock of Spanish Sparrows has taken up residence at Sabkhat Al Fasl, Jubail and spends most of its time in the same area of the reserve. They are very mobile and difficult to photograph but Phil Roberts and I spent some time trying to get a few good photographs of them last weekend. The flock appeared to have split into two groups and one was in the reeds next to the main dirt track but the light was not good. We did manage a few photos that came out better then expected before the birds moved off further into the reed beds. Spanish Sparrow is an unusual bird at Sabkhat Al Fasl with birds only regularly being seen in the last three years so maybe the species is spreading south of Jubail and will make it to Dhahran in the near future?
Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

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