12 January 2012

White Wagtails - Dhahran Hills

White Wagtails are now wintering in good numbers on the 'patch' with up to fifty birds regularly seen and birds again now feeding around the edge of the percolation pond. The water levels have dropped slightly from their very high levels and now some small muddy edges are present. The very large numbers of insects present in the evening here means there is plenty of food for the birds to eat.
White Wagtail

Birds seen on the patch over the week, I have been able to get out three evenings this week, have been in slightly short supply. There was still enough to keep the interest up though with the following being maximum counts from the percolation pond. One Eurasian Coot, one Grey Heron, One Heuglin's Gull, four Little Grebe, seven Steppe Gull, eight Common Moorhens, 19 Black-winged Stilts, 31 Black-headed Gulls, 33 Eurasian Teals and 1000+ Great Cormorant. The pond is again back to very full levels as it has again been filled and the nice muddy edges have disappeared underwater. There is still enough areas of interest to attract a few birds so let's hope things start turning up as the month progresses. The spray fields were dry on 9th January as the pond was being filled and a walk about the area produced one Southern Grey Shrike, one Bluethroat, three Siberian Stonechats, four Water Pipits, eight Song Thrushes, 12 Crested Larks and plenty of White Wagtails. The only bird of note in the scrub around the percolation pond was a Namaqua Dove which is the first one I have seen for some weeks.

On the 10th January there was a large gathering of Large White-headed Gulls on the pond with a few bids at frst slowly attracting almost all the large gulls flying over until about 120 birds were prsent. These consisted on six Heuglin's Gulls, 21 Caspian Gull and 50+ Steppe Gulls with the remainder unidentified. Prolonged looking at the birds allowed me to become slightly more confident in identifying the birds to species but try as I might there was no sign of a bird would be confident in calling an Armenian Gull. Lets hope these Large White-headed Gulls return to the pond each evening allowing me more time to study them.