14 Sep 2015

Mass migration - Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm

Birding the Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm, Fadhili, near Jubail on 4 September proved to be one of the best days birding I have had in Saudi Arabia. Migrants were thick on the ground with a number of good birds seen including the third record for the Eastern Province of Black-winged Kite (see previous post). Shrike numbers were very large with almost 100 birds seen during the day of eight species (Southern Grey Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Steppe Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Turkestan Shrike, Daurian Shrike, Red-backed Shrike and Masked Shrike). Other good birds included a female type Eurasian Golden Oriole, a Eurasian Wryneck, five Cream Coloured Coursers, 17 European Rollers and nine Collared Pratincoles. Other migrants included a few Spotted Flycathcers, three Black-eared Wheatears, two Pied Wheatears, four Northern Wheatears and ten plus Isabelline Wheatears. Bee-eaters were around in good numbers with both Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and European Bee-eaters in about equal numbers with hundreds of both. Many of the European Bee-eaters were finding plenty to eat on the ground where the alfalfa crop was being cut. In this cut field were tens of Yellow Wagtails and close by were a large flock of thirty plus Greater Short-toed Larks. A small number of birds of prey included the Black-winged Kite, one Common Kestrel, two Pallid Harriers including one male and a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier. Barn Swallows and Sand Martins were plentiful and a few waders were seen including Little Stint, Kentish Plover and Black-winged Stilts. The only species of warbler noted were a few Common Whitethroats and Graceful Prinias. Three Brown-necked Raverns were seen flying over a species that is not so commonly seen by me in the region.
Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
Brown-necked Raven
Brown-necked Raven
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark

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