18 February 2013

Some good birds about – Dhahran Hills

On the way back from work as I was driving home, at the bottom of the golf course, I saw a bird of prey land on a roadside light out of the corner of my eye. I could not identify the bird as the view was so poor and very brief, but I turned the car around and came back to see if it was still there. Luckily it was and there was a parking area close by. I always carry my binoculars with me so they were in the car and I was able to get very good views on the bird which turned out to be an adult male Crested Honey Buzzard. This species was unrecorded until the 20th Century but has been seen fairly regularly since I have been in Saudi Arabia. It is certainly far more common then European Honey Buzzard, although I have seen this species as well here.  The Arabian (Southern) Grey Shrike is still present in the same area of the jebals where it has been sitting regularly in the same bush for two weeks. A few Isabelline Wheatears are also now scattered over the jebals and rough desert areas showing the migration is slowly starting to take place.  The female Blue Rock Thrush remained in place the day after it was found and the Red-tailed Wheatear was also in the same place, looking like it did not mind sharing its home with the new arrival.