09 March 2014

The boulder area still producing – Dhahran Hills

The area of large stone boulders is still producing good birds and has been the best location in the camp for birds in the past two weeks. During this week I have seen a minimum of three Blue Rock Thrushes, one Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, two Eastern Black Redstarts and plenty of wheatears. Eastern Black Wheatear is a rare visitor to the camp and two birds in a week is exceptional. On 4 March I found a vittata Pied Wheatear on the jebal behind the boulders which is the first time I have seen this sub-species in Saudi Arabia.  I made a real mess of trying to photograph the bird so hope it will stay around to allow some photos to be taken of this scarce subspecies for the Kingdom. Good numbers of pied Wheatears are now passing through and a few Isabelline Wheatears are also with them but signs of our winter visitors have almost completely dried up although I did manage to see a European Sparrowhawk during the week. This winter has been a strange one with relatively low numbers of birds but a few goods ones thrown in to keep the interest up.
Blue Rock Thrush - male
Blue Rock Thrush - male
Eastern Black Redstart
Isabelline Whearear
Euraisian Sparrowhawk