28 July 2012

Some Hot Birds – Dhahran Hills

The temperatures have been very hot over the last week with daily highs of 47 degrees Celsius. This makes birding a bit difficult as even in the early morning and late evening the temperatures are around the low 40 degree Celsius mark. Even so, I go out every day to see what I can find on my local patch and have been rewarded this month with a few good birds for the site. This period is the quietest month for birding in my area and also the rest of Saudi Arabia with the very few birders here birding less due to the temperatures than at other times of year. There are still good birds to be found though, so it is worth sticking it out and seeing what one can see. As can be seen from the two photographs below even the birds are finding the temperatures hot and many species can be seen panting to try to cool down. The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater is a passage migrant with this bird being a returning migrant, whereas the White-eared Bulbul & Crested Larks are resident breeders. If the resident birds are panting you know the temperatures are hot, and these photographs were taken in the late evening at about 17:00 hrs when the temperatures are lower than at midday. Saudi Arabia in the summer is one of the hottest places on earth and these photos give some idea of what the conditions are like.
Crested Lark

White-eared Bulbul
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater