16 February 2014

Some bird records from Dhahran and Abqaiq from the 1980’s – Bird records by Cliff Peterson

Cliff Peterson a birder who birded extensively in Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s has sent me a number of photographs, taken on film but converted to digital images.  I have selected a number of unusual species most of which I have not seen, or not taken photos of in Saudi Arabia. I appreciate the time Cliff has taken to convert the photos to digital and send them to me

Eastern Greylag Goose - This pair was present in Dhahran's Lanhardt Lake (now replaced by the percolation pond) 9 November 1985 to 26 January 1986.  Initially four birds arrived 9 November 1985 but then two of the four birds disappeared.

Ruddy Shelduck - This species frequented the Abqaiq lagoons (now fenced off I understand) and was recorded in a all months between 29 October to 20 May during 1982-1985.  Thirty-seven were counted 12 January 1984.

Western White Stork - Nine birds were found at Dhahran's Lanhardt Lake 27 August 1984 and lingered for a few days.

Eurasian Bittern - This species appeared sporadically at Abqaiq Lagoons with a maximum of 4 present 20 October 1983.  All other records were in March.

European Scops Owl - This was a wild bird that someone pulled out of a shrub in Dhahran May 1983.  It was later released.  We never saw another.

Rose-ringed Parakeet - Commonly found in Dhahran Main Camp. I also saw this bird in Qatif and Abqaiq. I had flocks up to eight and they were conspicuous due to their color and call.  My thinking is that the population size was likely limited by nesting cavities.  I have one picture of a pair using a large conduit alongside a power pole as their cavity. This image is of the male.

Eurasian Golden Oriole - This male sang every morning from the acacia trees over our house in Dhahran. It was present 16 April until we departed on leave 16 June 1984. Until the time we departed, no female appeared. I've several other records from April-May and September to October every year we were in KSA.  This was the best shot I was able to get he was quite shy.