24 November 2011

Grey Plover - Dhahran Hills

At the 'patch' yesterday, which is looking very sad as all the reeds have now been grubbed out and the water level is just a small pool, there were still quite a few birds including a Western Great Egret enjoying the ease of catching fish as they have all been concentrated in the small pool. Two Indian Reef Heron, one white phase and one grey phase were also enjoying the fish along with a juvenile Purple Heron which is the first record of this species for me in over a month. A Little Ringed Plover, two Green Sandpipers, 13 Black-winged Stilts along with a single juvenile Grey Plover were on the dried up pool or muddy edge. This is only the second Grey Plover I have seen on the 'patch' with the first being a fly over record in the spring, so I was happy to see this bird today. Amazingly as there is almost no water left there were still ducks on what is left of the percolation pond and these included one Northern Shoveller, one Eurasian Wigeon and 39 Eurasian Teal. 13 Common Moorhen were also still present although not for much longer I presume? 136 Great Cormorant came in to roost which was half the number of a couple of days ago. A very nice sight as the light was fading was a Ruppell's Fox that I saw running along the track between the pond fence and the trees. I got excellent views of the fox as I was sitting in the car scoping the birds as all the cover (reeds) have been removed from the pond and the weather was quite cold and windy and I did not want to spook the birds. As a result the fox did not see me until it was quite close but unfortunately the light was so poor no photographs were possible.
Little Ringed Plover