11 April 2014

Sabkhat Al Fasl – Bird records by Dave Kilmister

Dave Kilmister noted from my web post from Sabkhat Al-Fasl that the birding was good and as a result went out there on Saturday 5 April. He had a great morning with 42 species sighted including Red-spotted Bluethroat, Blackcap, Common Redstart, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Common Ringed Plover, Eurasian Coot and Red-throated Pipit as birds that he hadn’t noticed over winter. In general, waders were almost non-existent. Dave also saw a White-throated Kingfisher (fleetingly) and got great views of a Common Snipe and also saw the House Crows which he had also seen the previous week but not before at the site. There were no Western Marsh Harriers when I was there, but at least three Greater Spotted Eagles, and what looked like a Crested Honey Buzzard flew over and into the sun before he could get a photo to confirm. Dave mentioned that most of the same birds are appearing at his camp, north of Jubail with a Song Thrush and some Semi-Collared Flycatchers added, and good numbers of waders on our sabkha patch – Ruffs, Common Redshanks, Curlew Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers and Wood Sandpipers. Dave also saw a Little Bittern at Al-Fasl the previous week and was amused watching it fly into the reeds and perch, warbler-like, on a stem pretending to be invisible. There was one at Dave’s work also which was very accommodating in posing for him. Dave has kindly allowed me to use his notes and a couple of his photos for this post.
Common Snipe
Little Bittern - adult male