08 October 2013

A couple of Harriers – Dhahran Hills

A mornings birding yesterday produced a few good birds and as I left home later than normal due to having to see the girls off to school, the air temperature was higher. As a result there were a couple of Harriers in the air. The first one was a Pallid Harrier, that circled around and then flew off high over the base and the second was a Western Marsh Harrier that came down and hunted briefly over the settling pond. Whilst doing this it flushed all the waders on the pool. These included 15 Black-winged Stilts, six Common Snipe, six Ruff, six Little Stints, one Wood Sandpiper and one Green Sandpiper. Other good birds seen on the settling pond were my first returning White Wagtail and my first autumn passage Grey Wagtail. A Little Grebe and several Common Moorhen were also on the pond.
Pallid Harrier
Western Marsh Harrier

The spray fields were being sprayed and had a single Western Cattle Egret as well as an adult and juvenile Purple Heron. Ten plus Barn Swallows and Sand Martins were flying over and three Daurian Shrikes and a single Turkestan Shrike were sitting on the spray heads and shrubs. The total number of shrikes is slowly building up and should reach their peak in a couple of week’s time.
Purple Heron - juvenile
Purple Heron - juvenile