06 March 2014

Wheatears returning –Dhahran Hills

Signs of migration have been increasing during the week with a few Blue Rock Thrushes and a nice male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush seen. Other migrants have been several Common Quail calling from the spray fields as well as seven Red-rumped Swallows roosting in the reed bed on the settling pond. Daurian Shrike numbers are increasing slowly with a maximum of five seen on a single day and ten Black-winged Stilts and a Green Sandpiper arrived on the percolation pond. A small crake was seen but unidentified and a Lesser Whitethroat was also located in the bushes surrounding the pond. Apart from the Rock Thrushes the other species that has occurred in small numbers are wheatears. Some of these have wintered but others are migrants. The Red-tailed Wheatear remained on the boulders where it has spent the winter and was joined by at least three Pied Wheatears. A female Desert Wheatear was also seen in the boulder area and a few Isabelline Wheatears have been feeding around on the scrubby desert areas. Things are really changing bird wise now with most of the obvious winter visitors almost absent with just a few White Wagtails and one or two Water Pipits left.
Red-tailed Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Pied Wheatear