22 July 2011

Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Spoonbill, Namaqua Dove & Common Moorhen - Sabkhat Al Fasl

At Sabkhat Al Fasl yesterday a number of good birds were seen. I saw three species of bird that I had not seen in Saudi Arabia before, Eurasian Spoonbill, Pied Avocet and Black-crowned Night Heron. The water level was quite low, so the low lying water reas were mainly dried up and waders were scarce. The main pools still held good amounts of water though so birds were still plentiful. Birds of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia by Bundy, Connor & Harrison 1989 stated that Eurasian Spoonbill was a rare and irregular visitor with twelve records, mainly of immature birds. I know of a few other records since then in the Dhahran / Dammam areas and this species may well be more regular than records suggest.
Birds seen included:-
Eurasian Spoonbill - 3 (adult)
Pied Avocet - 4
Common Greenshank - 2
Green Sandpiper - 1
Little Stint - 16
Greater Flamingo - 176
Eurasian Coot - 35
Little Grebe - 25
European Turtle Dove - 1 (juvenile)
Greater Spotted Eagle - 1 (2nd calendar year)
Barn Swallow - 6
Purple Swamphen - 35
Common Morehen - 100+
Little Tern - 38
White-cheeked Tern - 5
Namaqua Dove - 8
Black-crowned Night Heron - 1
Little Bittern - 2
Squacco Heron - 12
Indian Reef Heron - 20
Black-winged Stilt - 20
Kentish Plover - 20
 Purple Swamphen
 Purple Swamphen
 Purple Swamphen
 Eurasian Spoonbill (adult)
 Namaqua Dove
Common Moorhen (immature)