31 March 2014

More migrants arriving – Dhahran Hills

The ‘patch’ has been slightly better this week with a number of new migrant species arriving. Phil had a male Semi-collared Flycatcher, a bird that would have been a new species for the ‘patch’ for me, but I did not see the bird, so wasn’t. A smart male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush was found eating ants along the perimeter fence and allowed a few decent photos to be taken of it. Also along the fence were several Pied Wheatears. Other new migrants included a male Masked Shrike, tens of Turkestan Shrikes, including a smart male keralini type that again I failed to photograph and several Daurian Shrikes Whilst I was watching the Masked Shrike a Desert Whitethroat (Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca halimodendri type) flew into a nearby tree and gave some good but brief views. The wintering Western Marsh Harrier was still about over the spray fields and a Western Osprey was perched in one of the trees near the percolation pond. A few Yellow Wagtails and several Tree Pipits were seen with one Tree Pipit bathing in a small puddle of water left over from the heavy rain of a few days before. Other migrants included two Common Swifts and a Tawny Pipit. An Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler was singing from the small patch of reeds in the corner of the spray fields with two Eurasian hoopoes nearby. Hopefully these new birds are a sign of things to come and the migration season will start picking up.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush
Turkestan Shrike
Desert Lesser Whitethroat
Tree Pipit