15 Sep 2015

A big influx of European Rollers – Northern and Eastern Saudi Arabia

There have been good numbers of European Rollers in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia this autumn but they seem to be moving across the country on a broad front as Viv Wilson also saw good numbers in Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom last weekend. Viv had a minimum of six birds on his local patch which was a good count for there including what he thought may have been a family party of three birds, two adults and a juvenile. Phil and I saw the largest numbers we have ever seen on 4 September at Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm, near Jubail in the Eastern Province with a minimum of 17 birds found including ten on a single large pivot irrigation spray bar. Some birds were very approachable, which is unusual for this species indicating they may have been very tiered new migrants. The approachable nature allowed for some close up photographs to be taken some of which are shown below. The species is an uncommon passage migrant to Saudi Arabia with adults in spring and less commonly juveniles with the odd adult in autumn.
European Roller

European Roller

European Roller

European Roller

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