03 December 2012

Common Greenshank – Dhahran Hills

The settling pond has been the best place for birding over the last couple of weeks, not just because Phil found three Greater Flamingos there either. The number of pipits and wagtails around the edge of the site has been building up over the winter with Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit and Water Pipit all present along with numerous White Wagtails. Waders have been plentiful for the site as well as varied with Common Greenshanks being seen daily along with Common Redshank which peaked at eight birds. Common Snipe numbers have been below ten but seen daily and both Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper have been seen with numbers averaging around five of each.  Little Stints remain the commonest wader with 30+ seen and Dunlin numbers are regularly over ten. The trees around the percolation pond and spray fields are also still being used by various birds of prey with up to three Greater Spotted Eagles seen and a two Eurasian Sparrowhawks and a single female Western Marsh Harrier. A very nice male Desert Wheatear has taken up residence around the edge of the spray fields and three Siberian Stonechats are also showing distantly in the fields. Gull numbers are now building up with plenty of Black-headed Gulls flying over. Occasionally they stop to rest on both the percolation and settling ponds although the Large White-headed Gulls generally just fly over. Large White-headed Gulls seen recently are mainly Steppe Gulls with the occasional Caspian Gull also seen but no Heuglin’s Gulls have been noted so far.
Common Greenshank
Common Redshank
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Greater Spotted Eagle