06 November 2013

Thick fog and wet birds – Dhahran Hills

Very early morning the last couple of days has been hampered with thick fog. With the amount of dew about the surrounds looked very unfamiliar as all the trees and grass were covered in dew and many of the birds were wet as well. I went first to the settling pond and found a small group of Western Cattle Egrets that had been roosting in the reeds and were in a very wet state when they flew out and landed on the nearby wire fence. Other birds on the settling pond included a Clamorous Reed Warbler and European Reed Warbler in the reeds and a few waders on the pond edge. These included nine Black-winged Stilts, five Little Stints, two Dunlins and four Ruff. Two Steppe Gulls came in to have a look, the first ones I have seen on the ‘patch’ this autumn and showing the year is progressing to an end.

Western Cattle Egret

Other birds were thin on the ground although a number of wet looking Isabelline Shrikes were about in the spray fields, most of them looking like Turkestan Shrikes. A Eurasian Sparrowhawk flew over a few times, disturbed from its resting place by mountain bikers and a number of Water Pipits were also seen. A single Stonechat was in the spray fields but its sub-specific identification could not be ascertained. A small wet strean had plenty of immature Common Moorhens and a smart adult but little else.
Turkestan Shrike?
Common Moorhen