29 September 2013

A few more migrants passing through – Dhahran Hills

An afternoon trip to the ‘patch’ giving me a little more time than normal, as it was the weekend, produced a number of good birds for the camp. The first good birds seen were in the scrubby desert area where a few acacia trees grow. Three Greater Short-toed Larks were feeding along the desert edge of the football field and a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin was feeding in close proximity under a tree by the ditch. Whilst looking along the ditch for other migrants a European Roller flew across and landed on one of the large floodlights. Unfortunately it stayed only for a few seconds before flying off and disappearing. The wet ditch by the football field had a Wood Sandpiper and a Little Stint.
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Greater Short-toed Lark
The main wet ditch is drying out but still had seven Little Stints and a Kentish Plover. The scrubby desert nearby also had a couple of migrants including a Spotted Flycatcher and a Pied Wheatear. The main number of waders were on the settling pond with three Wood Sandpipers, 15 Little Stints, six Black-winged Stilts and three Kentish Plovers. A Grey Heron, seven Common Moorhen and two Little Grebes were also on the water. Good numbers of both Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were passing over in small groups and most unexpectedly an immature Steppe Eagle also flew over the spray field. To round things off I had great views of six Arabian Red Foxes at dusk.
Spotted Flycatcher