01 October 2012

Spotted Crake again - Dhahran Hills

A quick trip to the Dhahran Hills drainage ditch and surrounding scrubby desert produced a couple of interesting birds. The first Common Kestrel of the autumn, a female, was seen flying over and perching in the tallest tree in the area where it stayed until I left. Two grey shrikes were seen, the first was a juvenile Lesser Grey Shrike and the other a Southern Grey Shrike. Two Spotted Flycatchers were also present catching insects from the small scrubby bushes and a couple of Eurasian Hoopoes were feeding in the same area. The ditch had a single Green Sandpiper, one juvenile Common Moorhen and the same Spotted Crake as seen a few days before. Spotted Crake is a scarce passage migrant with a few birds overwintering in some years. It is probably an overlooked species, due to its skulking nature with birds in autumn occurring from September to December but mainly in October and November.