27 November 2013

Sanderling a new ‘patch’ species – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding the ‘patch’ during the week I have come across a couple of interesting birds. Two were on the settling ponds with the best being two Sanderlings feeding along the stone edges and muddy fringes. This is the first time I have seen the species on my local patch and takes my total to 202 species. They are an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and winter along the littoral where they are present from August through May. On passage a few birds occur regularly inland. In Saudi Arabia as a whole they are regarded as a common migrant and winter visitor to all coasts.

 The other good bird seen on the settling pond was a Baillon’s Crake feeding in a small clump of reeds growing in the middle of the pond. The bird showed well and good ‘scope’ views were obtained before it disappeared into the reeds and could not be re-found. Other birds included two Ruff, two Black-tailed Godwits and two Clamorous Reed Warblers. The trees around the percolation pond had a first calendar year Greater Spotted Eagle sitting in them and nine Great Cormorants were seen flying over.