28 April 2014

Fieldfare a new ‘patch’ species – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding our local ‘patch’ on 26 April Phil Roberts found a Fieldfare Turdus pilaris in the spray fields. The bird was only on view for a short time and then flew off into the centre of the field. Unfortunately by the time I got to the fields the bird had been lost from sight and despite looking around the fields we could not relocate it. This was a really good bird for Dhahran and was a new species for the ‘patch’ for Phil and would have been for me also had I seen it. On the 27 April I re-found the bird in the spray fields in a slightly different area where I saw it out on the track across the fields. Again it only stayed for a short period before flying off and again we could not relocate it. I managed to take a couple of distant record shots of the bird that are reproduced below. The date of this bird appears to be the latest winter record by more than a month as was very unexpected at this time of year and was my 207th species for my local patch. Fieldfare is a rare winter visitor to Saudi Arabia with the following records the only ones I know of: In the north of Saudi Arabia they have been seen at Harrat al Harrah Reserve a winter visitor in November. In the northwest one was in a small park in Yanbu 16 December 1988 and two 6 January to 23 February 1989. One was in a small park in Yanbu 29 March 1990 and one was seen near Tabuk. In the Eastern Province one was at Dhahran 23 November until 19 December 1973 one 23 January 1976 and two 5 March 1976. One was at Jubail near the Holiday Inn on 3 December 1991. One Dhahran Hills spray fields 26-27 April 2014.