26 February 2012

A new site - Dhahran Sewage Works

Yesterday morning I visited a new site in Dhahran. I found the area whilst looking on Google Maps and it looked quite interesting so I went there in the early morning to see if I could gain access and bird there. When I got there there was a large sign saying Saudi Aramco please report to the main office if visiting. As I work for Saudi Aramco I went in a went to the office and asked permission to walk around the area. The site has many sewage treatment tank that had hundreds of Common Black-headed Gulls sitting on the railings and in  large tank. I stayed away from this area as it was a working site and I did not want to cause disturbance to anyone.
Common Black-headed Gull (adult summer)

The site is quite large and has large grass areas surrounded by some tall trees. The grass areas had large spray heads which are always good sites to see bird sitting on top of them. This site was no exception with Daurian Shriek, Siberian Stonechat and Pied Wheatear all sitting on the sprays heads and using them as vantage points for hunting food.
 Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

The grass areas were quite wet and had 100+ Water Pipits and 26 White Wagtails busily feeding on them. One Song Thrush was feeding in the leaf litter under the tress and several Rock Dove and Collard Doves were also feeding on the grass. To the edge of the grass area was a large depression where earth has been dug out and this had water in the bottom that had three Common Snipe and a single Isabelline Wheatear. Wheatears are deffinately starting to move through the area now and their numbers should build up over the next few weeks and a few more spcies also arrive such as Northern Wheatear and Black-eared Wheatear.
 Common Snipe
 Common Snipe in flight
Isabelline Wheatear

The best place in the area was a medium sized pool that had quite a bit of vegetation growing around it and this held a few waders including one Common Ringed Plover, one Common Sandpiper, two Common Redshank, three Green Sandpipers, eight Black-winged Stilt and nine Common Snipe. A single Grey Wagtail was also feeding along the edge of this pond and this is the first Grey Wagtail I have seen since last spring.
Black-winged Stilt