7 Jul 2015

Greater Painted Snipe - Sabya Waste Water Lagoons

The Greater Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis only occurs in the far southwest of the Kingdom. It was discovered as a new species for the country by mike Jennings on 8 July 2010 when three were seen at a sewage lagoon east of Sabya with at least 8 there, including 2-3 together, 11 July 2010. Subsequently other birds have been seen including two flushed at Malaki Dam Lake near Jizan and two others seen well at Sabya Waste Water Lagoons near Jizan 31 March 2013 with a family group of four at Sabya Waste Water Lagoons 16 May 2013, which was the first confirmed breeding of this species in Saudi Arabia and Phil and I saw two at the same site 2 July 2013. As far as I am aware no further sightings have occurred of the species even though a few birders have looked at the main location for the species over the last two years. I, however, found a male bird sitting on the edge of one of the wastewater lagoons at the back of the Sabya site on 30 June 2015. This is a different location to that where they were seen previously although in the same main site. Despite a long time studying and watching the bird I did not see any other birds or signs of young, so breeding could not be proved by me this year. Male birds are the dull plumaged individuals in this species rather than male birds in most other bird species. It is excellent news that birds are still using this site.
Greater Painted Snipe - male

Greater Painted Snipe - male

Greater Painted Snipe - male

Greater Painted Snipe - male

Greater Painted Snipe - male


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