02 September 2012

First autumn Turkestan Shrike - Dhahran Hills

Birding the local patch over the last few days has produced a couple of interesting species. The two Glossy Ibis were still on the percolation pond until the 29th August and two Northern Shoveller have also been on the pond each day. Small flocks of up to 15 European Bee-eaters have been passing over Dhahran Hills mainly over the housing areas and narby parks. Eurasian Hoopoes are increasing in numbers as passage birds join the resident breeders and up to ten have been seen daily mainly feeding in the scrubby desert areas. Wader numbers are increasing with four Green Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper, seven Little Stints, three Little Ringed Plovers and four Kentish Plovers as well as thirty Black-winged Stilts. A smart Turkestan Shrike was feeding from the fence surrounding the pond on 29th August and was the first returning bird of the autumn for me although they have been seen further north and west in Saudi Arabia over the last two weeks.

Green Sandpiper

Common Greenshank

Eurasian Hoopoe

Turkestan Shrike