02 December 2011

Flooded Sabkhat area - Sabkhat Al Fasl

There had been heavy rain in the Jubail area when we visited last weekend which was a bit of a surprise as we had only had a couple of spots of rain in the Dhahran area. The rain had completely flooded the sabkhat area at the back of the area where we go birding and it was full of waders and a few other interesting birds. This area holds plenty of good birds in the winter when the water levels are high and is an attractive place for Greater Spotted Eagles to sit and rest with one 1st Calendar Year bird seen on the sabkhat and another two flying over the reeds to the side of this area. Westrn Marsh Harrier and Osprey are also regular in this area with one Western Osprey and up to seven Western Marsh Harriers in the air together. Waders were present in good numbers with hundreds of Kentish Plover, some in full breeding plumage, and 500+ Little Stint. Other waders included 100+ Dunlin, 15 Common Redshank and 18 Marsh Sandpiper. A very large flock of 300+ Greater Flamingo was seen but at very long range and two Temmink’s Stint were present on a small pool on the way to the sabkhat area. Passerines can also be seen in this area and today we saw a female Desert Wheatear and two Lesser Short-toed Larks on the drier side to the sabkhat and a Daurian Shrike on the reed stems.

 Western Marsh Harrier
 Western Osprey
 Kentish Plover
 Little Stint
 Little Stint (left) & two Temminck's Stint
 Temminck's Stint
 Lesser Short-toed Lark
Desert Wheatear