02 November 2013

More good raptors and a couple of other migrants – Dhahran Hills

The best birds seen today were two European Honey Buzzards. They were seen whilst I was driving back to work after lunch and gave extremely good views circling around together. Both birds were immatures and unfortunately although I had my binoculars I did not have the camera so I did not get any photos. This is the first time I have seen European Honey Buzzard in the Eastern Province in the winter with all my previous records being in the spring.
Adult female Dhahran Hills 4 May 2011
Adult male Dhahran Hills 6 May 2011
Adult female Dhahran Hills 2 June 2011
The species is a scarce migrant to Saudi Arabia with most records coming from the central and western areas of the country.
The evening produced a few more migrants including a flock of European Bee-eaters numbering 15 birds and a flock of 12 Great Cormorants looking for some water in the pond to land on but failing. A European Sparrowhawk was chasing the small flock of Water Pipits living in the spray fields and an Isabelline Wheatear was running around in a similar area.
Isabelline Wheatear

The settling pond had 27 Western Cattle Egrets the highest count by me so far this winter and a female Northern Shoveler which is my first one of the autumn. Wader included seven Ruff, five Little Stints, two Marsh Sandpipers and one Common Snipe. A few Yellow Wagtails and White Wagtails and one Daurian and one Turkestan Shrike made up the remainder of the migrants present.
Daurian Shrike