29 April 2012

Five species of Shrikes – Dhahran Hills

The ‘patch’ is still alive with shrikes and yesterday I saw five species of shrike. This included an adult Lesser Grey Shrike in the scrub at the side of the spray fields which I assume is the same bird as seen last week. An adult Woodchat Shrike was at the other end of the spray fields and both Turkestan and Daurian Shrikes were present in numbers over ten for each species. A number of the Turkestan Shrikes were the greyish looking ‘karelini’ types (possible hybrid or colour morph) and these are now more common than the typical Turkestan Shrikes in Dhahran. A Masked Shrike showed well in the late evening at the wet corner of the percolation pond making a fine collection of shrieks in a small area of Dhahran.
Lesser Grey Shrike

Daurian Shrike

Turkestan Shrike

Masked Shrike

Shrikes have been quite common this year compared to last year, although I am still awaiting my first Red-backed Shrike of the year which must be coming soon? We trapped a beautiful male Red-backed Shrike in Bahrain on Friday so they are in the general area. This area of the world is a great place to see different types of shrikes and good views can be had of them as well. Presently female Daurian Shrikes are outnumbering males, but male Turkestan Shrikes are currently outnumbering females by about two to one.