26 Jan 2016

Hanedh & Jabal Nayriyyah area

Phil and I went for our winter birding trip to the spray fields north of Jubail in the Qaryat Al Ulya area last weekend. We normally go to see if we can find any wintering birds of prey as well as winter larks and buntings but the trip is normally hard work with little return for the effort. We set off at 04:00 hrs to arrive at Hanedh at first light. It was a very cold morning with temperatures at 6 degrees Celsius at 06:00 hrs. We checked a few pivot irrigation fields and found a few birds we do not see so regularly including a Long-legged Buzzard first thing. It flew over the road and luckily landed on a power line pole where we had time to get our cameras and grab a few photographs. This is a species I have seen more regularly in the last year or so although sightings are still few. Some nearby fields held a few Eurasian Skylarks and Tawny Pipits as well as some Stonechats of various types including a nice male NCT Stonechat. A single Souther Grey Shrike was located hunting along the edge of the field using the poles as perches to find food. Along the roadside we found a few Desert Wheatears including a couple of smart adult males. After Hanedh we moved on to Kahfah near Nayriyyah to see if we could find any Hypocolius that have been seen there previously. We failed but did see plenty of Spanish Sparrows and a few Common Chiffchaffs as well as a fly over Pallid Harrier. We then went to Jabal Nayriyyah and saw a few Wheatears including Eastern Mourning and Desert but Deserts Larks that are normally in the area could not be found.
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
NCT Stonechat
NCT Stonechat
Southern Grey Shrike
Southern Grey Shrike
Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
Eastern Mourning Wheatear

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