16 February 2012

Garganey - Dhahran Hills

Yesterday on the percolation pond there were a few new birds. Six Eurasian Teal and a female Garganey were hiding in and around the reeds, which are now starting to grow quite nicely. Hopefully by the end of March they will be quite tall and able to hide a few migrants, although not well enough for me not to be able to see them! The Garganey is the first returning bird I have seen this year and is an early migrant. Six Eurasian Coot were still present all of which appeared to be paired off. White-eared Bulbul numbers seem to have increased in the trees around the pond but as they are a resident species this is unlikely. The reason they seem more common now is probably because they are singing in the hope of attracting a mate as it it the start of the breeding season for them.
White-eared Bulbul

The Pallid Swift flock was still present with about sixty Pallid Swifts, but today there were at least 75 Common House Martins, 21 Red-rumped Swallows and six Barn Swallows. These birds are having no problem finding good as there are millions of mosquitoes about as the evening draws in. The Grey Heron was present with six Western Cattle Egrets. Numbers of gulls were significantly down from the last few days but there was still one Heuglin's Gull, four Caspian Gulls and 21 Steppe Gulls.
Common House Martin