05 December 2011

Great Cormorant - Dhahran Hills

The water level in the percolation pond is again rising as large amounts of water are being pumped into the pond. It is not looking very attractive for birds at the moment as all the reeds have beed removed but Phragmitis is a fast growing reed so hopefully in a couple of months time things will be back to normal. A large number (greater than 250) of Great Cormorants are still coming in each evening to roost in the trees surrounding the pond. They come in late in the evening and fly around a few times before choosing thier preferred trees to roost in overnight. Just after first light they leave again in formation and fly back to the coast to start their days fishing. The only other bird I saw on the pond was a Indian Reef Heron and a Cattle Egret flying over. As the pond was virtually birdless I went for a walk around the spray fields. As the water is currently being diverted into the pond the fields were dry. A single Turkestan Shrike was looking for food from one of the spray heads and a pair of European Stonechats were busy catching insects. At least 30 Water Pipits were present and a flock of 22 Eurasian Skylark. This is a very large flock for Dhahran and are the first birds I have seen here this autumn. A single Song Thrush was in the bushes by the spray field and is the first returning bird of the winter.