8 Apr 2016

Plenty of Wheatears – Haradh

Whilst birding Haradh 1 April we saw plenty of Wheatears indicating a big movement had occurred. The species involved where Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear and Pied Wheatear and they were spread over a large area of the pivot irrigation field edges as well as nearby rough ground and shrubs. All three species are common passage migrants through the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia but Northern Wheatear is normally only seen singly or in very small numbers not in tens of birds as seen in Haradh. Isabelline Wheatears and Pied Wheatears are commoner and pass over a longer period in spring but seeing all the wheatears together in good numbers was unusual. The weather in Haradh was poor the day we went which may have grounded the birds with overcast sky, wind and cool temperatures that remained at 16 degrees Celsius for most of the day. It also made photography difficult due to the light bit as there were so many birds some photographs were possible some of which are shown below.
Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

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