1 Nov 2017

Birding the pivot irrigation fields - Tabuk

Whilst in Tabuk we spent an entire day birding a few very large pivot irrigation fields and the surrounding scrub. This proved very rewarding with many species seen some in good numbers. Red-back Shrike was one of the most common species seen with over 75 recorded including adult males and juveniles. Pallid Harriers and Marsh Harriers were recorded as were Steppe Eagles and Common Kestrels. Spanish Sparrows and House Sparrows were common and several Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers and Graceful Prinias were seen. Five Corn Buntings could be hear singing at first light and a single Ortolan Bunting was located in a tree. A European Roller was in one large field along with 50+ Spur-winged Lapwings. Collared Dove, Namaqua Dove and Laughing Dove were all seen as were large numbers of Greater Short-toed Larks, Red-throated Pipits, Crested Larks and a couple of Tawney Pipits. We also saw two species of bird that according to the 2011 edition of "Birds of the Middle East", were not meant to be in the area. This is probably due to lack of observer coverage of the area as I know Viv Wilson who lived there recently saw both species. These birds were White-eared Bulbul that is not shown to be within 250 kilometres of Tabuk and Common Myna that is shown about 450 kilometres south near Yanbu.
Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting
Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Spur-winged Lapwing
Spur-winged Lapwing
Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit
Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

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