05 October 2013

White-throated Kingfisher Qaryat Al-Olaya – Bird records by Dave Kilmister

Dave Kilmister is a birder from Australia who has just moved to the Eastern Province and is birding local sites regularly. He has seen some good birds since his arrival a couple of months ago and on Friday 27 September saw and photographed a White-Throated Kingfisher at Qaryat Al-Olaya. I thank Dave for allowing me to use his photographs the copyright for which remains with Dave. He mentioned other birds seen that included Crested Larks (dozens), House Sparrows, Eurasian Wryneck, Red-backed Shrikes, Pied Wheatears, Spotted Flycatchers, Eurasian Collared Doves and Namaqua Doves.

White-throated Kingfisher was classed as a vagrant to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia (Bundy et al 1989) with two records one at Dhahran 4-5 October 1984 and one overwintering at the Dhahran Hills percolation pond early November 1985 until March 1986. Numbers then became more common during the early 2000’s but since 2009 have become scarce again. The only record I know of since 2009 in the Eastern Province is one I found at Sabkhat Al Fasl earlier this year on 31 August 2013. Hopefully they are going to become more common again as they now breed at Riyadh and can be seen there all year round.