21 March 2014

Migration still progressing slowly – Dhahran Hills

Birding the ‘patch’ the last week produced a few more migrants with each trip out enabling me to see something of note. A female Pallid Harrier was seen one night over the spray fields where it would continually drop to the ground for a few minutes and then take off and hunt again. It was doing this near a flooded area of the fields but I did not see what, if anything, it was catching. The spray fields have also had three species of Shrike, Turkestan, Daurian and Woodchat. The last few Meadow and Water Pipits are also still in the spray fields and a single Western Cattle Egret was also seen in the same area. Small numbers of Yellow Wagtails, mostly Black-headed, were feeding in the wet areas of the fields and a few Common Snipe were present but little else.
Woodchat Shrike
Western Cattle Egret
The percolation pond was very quiet with a few singing Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers and Six Eurasian Coot, an increase of one over recent weeks. Little Grebe numbers have dropped with only five birds seen, but possibly some are hiding in the reed beds? One Pallid Sift and two Common Moorhen were also around the pond and a smart male Common Redstart, my first of the spring, was in the bushes around the edge of the pond adding a splash of colour to the day. Several Kentish Plover have also been seen in various sandy areas, probably prospecting for nesting sites. There have been quite a few Eurasian Hoopoes passing through in the last week with five seen together on one occasion.
Eurasian Hoopoe