15 Aug 2016

Eurasian Oystercatcher – Jubail

Whilst birding in Jubail I saw a Eurasian Oystercatcher on a large wetland area, where they are rare. The Eurasian Oystercatcher is an uncommon, although occasionally is a locally common passage migrant & winter visitor to the coast of Saudi Arabia that is rare in summer. The species has been seen in every month of the year with returning autumn migrants occurring from mid-July and numbers commonest from September to November with the largest count recorded being 214 at Anuk on 16 November 1991. Smaller numbers are regularly seen along the coast from September until April with a few, mainly immature birds, seen together from May to August. The sub-species that occurs is Haematopus ostralegus longipes which breeds from the eastern Mediterranean (Adriatic coastline) to west & north central Russia (mouth of R Ob') south to Black, Caspian and Aral Seas and Lake Balkhash, and east to west Siberia; winters on coast from east Africa through Arabia to India. Elsewhere in Saudi Arabia it is present on all coasts mostly as a winter visitor. Generally uncommon but common on the southern Red Sea coast. Some present all year. Not inland.

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