2 Dec 2020

Azure Skimmer – Talea Valley

Whilst birding the Talea Valley in an area of permanent water and tall Elephant Grass I found a couple of Azure Skimmer Orthetrum theniolatum a medium sized dragonfly that frequents narrow water channels with barren steep banks, concrete water tanks and other areas of water where it patrols the water surface. Adult males develop a blue-grey bloom a few days after emergence.
Azure Skimmer

1 Dec 2020

Crested Honey Buzzard at Deffi Park, Jubail - Bird record by Jibin Jatan

While birding on 21 November in Jubail at Deffi Park, Jibin Jatan found the male Crested Honey Buzzard that has been around for over a month. The bird was seen sitting on one of the large trees in the park and allowed Jibin to take the below photograph that he has kindly allowed me to use on my website.

30 Nov 2020

Striated Heron – Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I saw the Striated Heron again. Phil had seen two adults and two juveniles during the summer, thehis is the first evidence of breeding in the Eastern Province where the species is a rare but increasing species. They are common breeding residents on the coasts of the Red Sea but is rare in the northern part of the Arabian Gulf including the Eastern Province. The increase in records in recent years shows that birds are spreading northwards and look likely to become a regular feature of the Eastern Province avifauna.

29 Nov 2020

Hypocolius still at Uqair – Bird records by Munzir Khan

The large gathering of Hypocolius, near Uqair Fort, numbering at least 150 birds remained in the same location over the last two weeks and has allowed a number of great photos to be taken of the species in November. Below is a female taken by Munzir Khan who also photographed a Desert Wheatear nearby which he has kindly allowed me to use on my website. Uqair is approximately 100 kms by road from Dammam/Dhahran.

28 Nov 2020

Carmine Darter - Tanoumah

Whilst birding the mountains of Tanoumah we came across an area of permanent water with good bird and insect life. One of the most common insects was the bright red coloured Carmine Darter Crocothemis erythraea with a number of duller yellow female Carmine Darter. The Carmine Darter is a common dragonfly throughout the Middle East, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. The male is carmine red, while the female is a significantly drabber yellow-buff colour with two paler marks on top of the thorax. It is a medium-sized dragonfly approximately 52mm in length. The abdomen is wider than other members of the family, flattened and tapering to the end. It is widespread in the Arabian Peninsula where it prefers a habitat of rocky areas and dry watercourses as well as shallow, still, eutrophic waters such as small ponds, paddy fields, and desert pools, but it avoids oases. Adults only live for up to two months. Adults spend much of their time perched on vegetation although they have a fast, darting flight and hover frequently.
Carmine Darter