10 February 2014

Red-tailed Wheatear still present – Dhahran Hills

Birding the last week has remained slow although a few interesting birds have been seen. The Red-tailed Wheatear is still present on the large boulders and rocks behind the percolation pond but has moved a long way towards the perimeter fence. This birds is not a good model and never allows close approach, and this combined with the sun always appearing to be in the wrong place makes photographing it difficult. The pond itself has had a few Eurasian Teal, one Common Redshank and a Black-winged Stilt but not much else. The spray fields have produced a couple of interesting birds with the first Common Quail of the year on 2 February as well a Jack Snipe flushed at close range and giving good flight views. Up to ten Meadow Pipits are still hiding in the grasses and the NCT Stonechat is still present. Other birds have been fly over Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Western Marsh Harrier and 100’s of Pallid Swifts. The Settling pool has so much water it is almost overflowing, but 111 Western Cattle Egrets and three Common Moorhen are still present. Plenty of White Wagtails and Water Pipits are still using the edges to feed.
Red-tailed Wheatear 
White Wagtail