05 March 2012

Sabkhat Al Fasl - Bird records by Andre Marais

Andre Marais again went to Sabkhat Al Fasl at the weekend, and even though the weather was poor with strong winds and large amounts of dust in the air, he managed to see some good birds. Andre sent me some of his photographs and has kindly allowed me to put them on my website of which I am very grateful to him. Most of the birds were seen in the area behind the concrete lagoons but the wheatears were seen in the desert area between the main road and the reed-beds. Desert Wheatear is a winter visitor to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia although some additional birds are passing through on passage. The Southern Grey Shrike is an uncommon resident bird. The Spanish Sparrow is also a resident bird but has only just moved into the Jubail area as far as I know but Andre said there was quite a large flock of mainly females present, which is encouraging for the possibility of them staying in the area. Pied Wheatear and Menetries's Warblers are both early passage migrants. There was no sign of the Russian Greater White-fronted Goose, so presumably it has moved onwards.
 Menetries's Warbler
 Desert Wheatear (male)
Spanish Sparrow (male)