16 January 2012

Another Citrine Wagtail - Sabkhat Al Fasl

An early morning trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl with Lidia my wife was a lot more pleasant, temperature wise, than last weekends trip. Today the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius rather than 10 degrees Celsius of last weekend and best of all the biting northerly wind had disappeared. We arrived very early as always and one of the first birds we saw was a nice Citrine Wagtail feeding on insects on a small raised piece of mud jutting out of the water. This was only visible through a small gap in the reeds created by hunters and was just in the right place when I looked to allow me to see it. It stayed around for quite some time allowing good views before eventually disappearing from sight. The light was very poor for photography as it was so early in the morning resulting in not so good photographs but you can see what the bird looked like and how smart it was. Citrine Wagtail is a regular though local winter visitor to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia that was not seen until 1975. I have seen quite a few in the last year with the last being a similar bird to this at the same site on 12th December 2011 with probably the same bird seen at the same site on 24th November. This bird was not the same one as the bird seen on 12th December as the plumage is slightly different from that bird, with the bird today having less yellow on the rear flanks. I have seen three Citrine Wagtails in Dhahran on the 'patch' but they were all drab grey and white first year birds. and were seen on the percolation pond on 5th September, 13th September and 19th September.