26 April 2013

Plenty of birds passing through – Dhahran Hills

There have been plenty of birds passing through Dhahran Hills in the last few days, with new birds seen on a daily basis. Shrike numbers have decreased but at least two Masked Shrikes, including one stunning adult male, have been seen in the tress surrounding the percolation pond. The pond itself has been quiet but two Garganey were still present and a male Mallard had joined them. A Squacco Heron was seen and a Purple Heron was seen flying over that had been disturbed from its original place of the flooded area of the spray fields. This is the first Purple Heron I have seen this spring, which is unusual as they are normally quite common and was a spectacular bird.
Purple Heron
Squacco Heron
The spray fields have held the majority of the birds over the last few days with 15+ Ortolan Buntings, 50+ Red-throated Pipits, 15+ Yellow Wagtails including Blue-headed Wagtail (beema), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Yellow-headed Wagtail (lutea/flavissima) and Grey-headed Wagtail (thunbergi). Willow Warblers were around in the long grass in large numbers with a minimum of 30 birds seen. A group of 30+ Sand Martins were hunting insects over the flooded area and a single Red-rumped Swallow was seen flying over with a few Pallid Swifts.
Yellow Wagtail - lutea/flavissima
Yellow Wagtail - lutea/flavissima