30 July 2011

Eurasian Golden Plover - Saihat

Phil Roberts took me to Saihat a town about twenty minutes drive north of Dhahran, where there is still a small area of Grey Mangrove and associated mud flats. This area was full of wading birds and herons, mainly Greater and Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Flamingo and Indian Reef Heron. The birds were using the mudflats associated with the mangroves to rest at high tide and to feed as the tide was falling. Whilst checking the large group of waders through a telescope I came across an adult summer plumaged European Golden Plover which is a very unusual record as the species is rare / scarce in the Middle East and most records are from the winter months of September to April. Birds of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia by Bundy, Connor & Harrison 1989 states there are only three records of five birds with only one in Summer plumage on 28th April in Al Khobar. Pacific Golden Plover is a much commoner species in Saudi Arabia but as this was an adult in summer plumage the identification was fairly straight forward.
 Little Bittern (juvenile)
 Indian Reef Heron (adult)
 Indian Reef Heron (juvenile)
Greater Flamingo

Other good birds seen at Saihat included:
Little Bittern - 1 (juvenile)
Crested Tern - 50+
White-cheeked Tern - 5
Saunder's Tern - 10
Greater Flamingo - 250+
Caspian Tern - 1
Gull-billed Tern - 2
Greater Sandplover - 250+
Lesser Sand Plover - 250+
Curlew Sandpiper - 250+
Eurasian Oystercatcher - 2
European Golden Plover - 1
Grey Plover - 1
Indian Reef Heron - 50+
Socotra Cormorant - 2
Slender-billed Gull - 75+