11 February 2013

Spur-winged Lapwing colonising the Eastern Province (Haradh) - Bird records by Rob Tovey

Rob Tovey & Lou Regensmorter visited NADEC dairy farm at Haradh, in the Eastern province on Thursday. Within the NADEC confines there are several individual farms separated by more natural terrain, which is semi desert. Apart form the natural semi-desert and the fodder fields, the third main habitat in NADEC is wetland produced by run off from the cattle farming areas. In one wetland the water was more processed than in the other and ironically perhaps, the wetland with the less processed water had more diversity. This wetland had at least 15 Spur-winged Lapwing, which were very skittish but Rob managed a couple of photographs showing the birds in flight as well as on the ground. For more details on Rob & Lou’s visit to Haradh see here. As I pointed out in a post recently ‘this species is still an extremely rare bird in the area but sightings are becoming more common and birds may be starting to colonize the region?’. This record confirms my suspicion and as Rob said “They are not a vagrant in this part of the Eastern Province”. Rob also pointed out to me “Spur-winged Lapwing are very common in Kharj in all the diary farms. NADEC is about 100 km east of the last of a string of dairy farms east of Kharj. Its not far for them to jump over and find these run off wetlands at NADEC”. Thanks to Rob for allowing me to use his records and for letting me post his photographs as well. I have not visited this part of the Eastern Province and it shows how little we know about the bird life of this region.