02 September 2013

Lesser Sand Plover numbers increasing – Dammam/Al Khobar Wader Roost South

Development of the Dammam/AlKhobar Wader Roost South is still on going, with tarmac being laid along some of the high bunds. It will not be too long now before full-scale house building starts and this site will probably become difficult to access. Disturbance from the house building and occupation will also badly affect the site, which is a shame as it was the best site for seeing crab Plover. Birds were present if good numbers with many of the small waders using the banks as resting places when the tide was in. Good numbers of Lesser Sand Plovers and similar numbers of Greater Sand Plovers made up the majority of birds with well over 200 of each species seen.
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Other waders seen in good numbers included Ruddy Turnstones and Terek Sandpipers with a few Dunlin, Little Stint, Common Redshank, Whimbrel and Grey Plovers. A minimum of 100 Terek Sandpipers were present which is the highest number I have seen together at one site in Saudi Arabia since I have been here. Five Sanderling were also seen which are an uncommon visitor to the Eastern Province, although probably overlooked amongst the many other waders. A single Indian Reef Heron and three Slender-billed Gulls made up the remaining birds seen.
Ruddy Turnstone
Terek Sandpiper