11 April 2013

A Scattering of Migrants – Dhahran Hills

A trip to the ‘patch’ last night produced a scattering of migrants with the spray fields holding most of the birds. There were at least four Whinchats present including a stunning adult male bird and three Ortolan Buntings. Two Tree Pipits and a minimum of 20 Red-throated Pipits including a number in full breeding plumage. A few Yellow Wagtails were about including one adult leutea with bright yellow plumage and a greenish mantle. Several Turkestan Shrikes, two Woodchat Shrikes and a male Daurian Shrike were also seen.
Woodchat Shrike
Northern and Isabelline Wheatears were seen in small numbers and a Namaqua Dove was flushed from the cover in the fields. Waders included a Common Snipe and Common Greenshank in the spray fields and two Wood Sandpipers and a Kentish Plover on the Settling Pond. Twenty plus Barn Swallows and five Pallid Swifts were hawking insects over the fields and a Common Redstart was also present.
Isabelline Wheatear
The percolation pond had six Garganey, two Little Egrets and seven Western Cattle Egrets but not much else and an Upcher’s Warbler was seen in the scrub near the pond. A few Willow Warblers and Common Chiffchaffs were also about and a Spotted Flycatcher was also seen on the wires surrounding the pond. Eurasian Hoopoe numbers are still relatively high with three birds seen.
Eurasian Hoopoe