17 Jul 2012

Egyptian Nightjar - Dhahran Hills

Birding the 'patch' has turned up a few good birds in the last few days with the best being an Egyptian Nightjar seen towards dusk on 15th July. I was talking to Phil at the side of the Percolation Pond when the bird flew across to the side of us and over the pond before doubling back and landing out of sight. We went for a walk to see if we could relocate it on the ground and luckily it flew a short distance and landed out in the open where it stayed and allowed a few photographs before again flying off into cover. This is the earliest date I have seen a bird in Dhahran but they have been seen in ecent weeks at Sabkhat Al Fasl (Jubail). They were regarded as vagrants by Bundy, Birds of the Eastern Province of Sadui Arabia (1989) but they are now a scarce migrant, summer and winter visitors.

Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar

Whilst looking for the Nightjar we found a Steppe Grey Shrike in very worn plumage, but interest in this bird was soon lost as soon as we saw the Egyptian Nightjar again. The pond also held two Little Bitterns (adult male and juvenile) showing the birds had again bred in the reeds of the pond for the second year in a row. Five Green Sandpipers, four Wood Sandpipers and one Common Sandpiper were present along with three Little Ringed Plovers and four Kentish Plovers. A single European Bee-eater and two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters were hunting from trees at the edge of the pond and the two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters ere also seen mating. Other migrants included 10+ Barn Swallows and six Sand Martins. Three Gull-billed Terns and four Little/Saunder's Terns were also present.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, we have just found an injured nightjar, are you able to look after them and help them recover? Thanks