21 January 2014

Ducks & Grebes are back on the pond – Dhahran Hills

The percolation pond is full of water again and has been for about a month. Birds have just started finding the pond again with a few Great Cormorants being the first closely followed by Black-headed Gulls and Little Grebes. In the last few days duck numbers have increased with 28 Eurasian Teal, six Northern Shoveller and six Tufted Ducks seen. The Great Crested Grebe has also returned which was slightly surprising as very little in the way of reed beds are still present. The areas around the pond have a few Common Chiffchaff and a single Daurian Shrike with a flock of 100+ Pallid Swift and a single House Martin over the pond. This maybe the first signs of spring migration starting as it occurs early in Saudi Arabia and lets hope it will be a good one. The spray fields are holding a few birds now and my first singing Graceful Prinia of the year was seen there along with a few Water Pipits and White Wagtails. The North Caspian Taxon (NCT) Stonechat was still present in the same area along with plenty of Painted Lady Butterflies. Apart from this a single Eurasian Sparrowhawk flew over at last light and the Red-tailed Wheatear was still present on the same rocks where it has been for over a month.
White Wagtail
Water Pipit
Graceful Prinia
North Caspian Stonechat
Painted Lady