30 September 2011

White-tailed Lapwing - Sabkhat Al Fasl

As it was the start of the weekend yesterday here in Saudi Arabia Phil Roberts and I went to Sabkhat Al Fasl early in the morning to arrive there just after first light. We saw a Glossy Ibis flying over the road at the new breeding site for Purple Swamphen on the way to Sabkhat Al Fasl and the first bird we saw nearing the main site was a Palid Harrier. Birds of prey were subsequently seen in good numbers with another immature Palid Harrier, 10 Marsh Harrier, one Common Kestrel, two Steppe Buzzard and an immature Greater Spotted Eagle. Waders were plentiful as we found a new flooded wetland area with hundreds of birds on. One Temminck's Stint was the first time I had seen the species at this site, six Common Ringed Plover, 20+ Marsh Sandpiper, five Common Redshanks, 250+ Dunlin, 250+ Little Stint, 20+ Kentish Plover, 10+ Common Snipe, 148 Pied Avocet and a single White-tailed Lapwing, which was the first time I have seen the species in Saudi Arabia although this site is a good place to see them. Other good birds included three Great Reed Warbler, one Clamorous Reed Warbler, one Greater Short-toed Lark, 10+ Yellow Wagtail, two Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, 10+ Barn Swallow, 40 Purple Swamphen, two Gull-billed Tern, two White-winged Tern, 172 Caspian Tern which is an exceptional number in a single place in Saudi Arabia, two Purple Heron and 209 Grey Heron another exceptional count in a single place.
 Temminck's Stint
 Caspian Tern
 Purple Swamphen
 Purple Swamphen
Great Reed Warbler