24 Apr 2012

Common Cuckoo - Dhahran Hills

Bird numbers have picked up slightly in Dhahran over the past few days and a few new birds for the year have arrived, but the best birds, for me at least were two adult Common Cuckoos which were new 'patch' ticks for me and takes my 'patch' list to 177 species, which is comming along quite nicely. I get more pleasure out of seeing a new bird on my local 'patch' than I do seeing a new bird for Saudi Arabia so all in all I was very pleased with the Common Cuckoos.
Common Cuckoo

There are quite a few other migrants passing through including new species for the spring for me in the form of Spotted Flycatcher and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush. The Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes were in the scrubby desert area and one was an adult male and the other a young male. The Spotted Flycather was living up to its name and catching flys from the fence surrounding the Percolation Pond. The pond itself remains very quiet with the only good birds being a whte phase Indian Reef Heron and two Wood Sandpipers. There were 75+ Pallid Swifts flying over the pond with 20+ Sand Martins and a couple of European Bee-eaters were aslo flying around catching insects.

Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush

Spotted Flycatcher

The Black-winged Kite was still about in its normal place with the only other bird of prey seen being a female Pallid Harrier. A few Wheatears made an appearance for the frst time in a week and included two Northern Wheatears and two Pied Wheatears including one fine male. The spray fields still held 25+ Red-throated Pipits, two Whinchats, six Turkestan Shrikes, five Daurian Shrikes and seven Ortolan Buntings.

Black-winged Kite
Ortolan Bunting

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