14 August 2012

Pied Avocet - Dhahran Expo High Tide Roost

A trip around the shore front at Dammam at high tide was quite successful at finding a couple of new places to bird watch. The new Dhahran Expo High Tide Roost was full of birds with thousands present. Most were Lesser Sand Plovers & Little Stints but interesting birds included 162 Broad-billed Sandpipers and a Pied Avocet, which is the first one I have seen in this area with the only other sites I have seen the species being Sabkhat Al Fasl where hundreds are normally present and a single bird inland at Al Asfar Lake near Al Hasa. Four Eurasian Oystercatchers and eight Sanderlings were also good birds and a migrant Eurasian Hoopoe was feeding along the roadside edge. Thirty-five Gull-billed Terns were also resting alomst the waders with this now the best place to see the species I know of. This high tide roost is a great place for viewing the birds although a telescope is really needed, and I am sure something good may turn up here sometime as the number of waders gathering here is very large compared to the other sites I watch.

Little Stint

Lesser Sand Plover

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

The Dammam / Al Khobar Wader Roost held relatively few birds although four Crab Plovers were present and are slowly building up in numbers with this being the largest group I have seen so far this autumn. A drive further down the road to the northern edge of the Corniche produced a good area of mud flats that were full of Lesser Crested Terns and I have been told this may be a good area for Gulls in the winter so I will keep my eyes on this place. Half way between here and the Wader Roost was another area of reclaimed land that allowed views back to the Cornish site and held hundreds of Slender-billed Gulls and three Steppe Gulls along with a few Socotra Cormorants.