01 June 2012

Late Masked Shrike – Dhahran Hills

There are still a few late migrants about in Dhahran, although they are very few and far between now. The pond has the same old birds, one Grey Heron, four Black-winged Stilts, six pairs of Eurasian Coots with young, four pairs of Common Moorhens with young, 20+ Little Grebes including at least two birds on nests. The most interesting thing seen on the pond was the fact that the Black-winged Stilts are attempting to hatch eggs on the floating platform again (29th May). Their last attempt a week ago failed and all four eggs were missing but yesterday the female was again sitting on two eggs in the same place. Let’s hope she is more successful this time, although I fear this location is not a good one to nest on. The male Little Bittern was still present, hopefully indicating they are breeding again this year. Migrants over the pond included a group of 33 Sand Martins. A walk around the pond produced a very late Masked Shrike (27th May) catching flying insects from the fence surrounding the pond, but very little else excepting the normal Laughing Doves and Collared Doves. The spray fields have large flocks of House Sparrow totaling over 100 birds and a large number (50+) of both White-eared Bulbul and Indian Myna.
Masked Shrike

Laughing Dove

White-eared Bulbul