15 November 2012

Water Pipit & White Wagtail numbers building - Dhahran Hills

Birding the 'patch' in the last few days has produced quite a few sightings of Greater Spotted Eagles as well as Arabian Red Foxes. One evening, at last light, four greater Spotted Eagles were seen together in the trees surrounding the percolation pond of which they were all juveniles. One was a really smart vulvescens race bird with typical ginger plumage. This the easily the highest number of Greater Spotted Eagles I have seen at one time in Dhahran with the previous record being two. A single Eurasian Sparrowhawk has been seen hunting over the spray fields and pond in the last few days. The pond has been quiet with only Squacco Heron, two female Mallards, seven Great Cormorants, Gull-billed Tern and the Great Crested Grebe being of note. You know winter has arrived when the Great Cormorants start coming back to the percolation pond, where numbers will gradually build to thousands over the next few weeks. Large numbers of Water Pipits and White Wagtails are now in the spray fields and around the settling pond and wader numbers are really quite immersive on the settling pond. There were 11 Common Snipe, two Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, five Wood Sandpipers, 26 Little Stints & six Dunlin. Large roosts of White-eared Bulbul can also be seen in various trees in the camp where their calls give ten away.
Water Pipit
Common Snipe
White-eared Bulbul