22 January 2013

Bluethroat – Dhahran Hills

Although Bluethroat is not a common bird everywhere in the Eastern Province it occurs at many sites in good numbers if the habitat is correct and is a common passage migrant and winter visitor. They like reed beds and rank vegetation, mainly near water and generally occur from late August to early May. Birds seen in late August and early September as well as April and May are almost certainly passage birds. Most birds seen are of the Red-spotted variety although White-spotted birds also occur in very small numbers, with only adult males in full breeding plumage being safely assigned to race. Whilst birding the ‘patch’ the last few days good numbers of Bluethroats have been seen around the percolation pond and in the spray fields as the water levels are high. Excess water is being sprayed on the spray fields and small pools have formed outside the perimeter fence of the pond. This is ideal habitat for Bluethroat and good views can sometimes be obtained, with good photograph opportunities occasionally presenting themselves as was the case with the bird below, which allowed approach to a few of metres.