21 April 2014

Second Black-winged Kite for the Eastern Province – Dhahran Hills

Yesterday on the ‘patch’ Phil and I independently found an adult Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, which was only the second record for the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The first bird was also an adult present at Dhahran Hills from 29 March to 17 April 2012 found by Phil. This bird, like the previous one, appeared to be of the eastern sub-species Elanus caeruleus vociferous as it had very dark under-wing markings on the secondaries unlike the more western race Elanus caeruleus caeruleus. E. c. vociferous occurs from Pakistan east to southern & eastern China, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula and E. c. caeruleus occurs in the south-west Iberian Peninsula, most of Africa and South-west Arabia. Its status in Saudi Arabia is a rare visitor to the southwest where it has occurred as far north as Jeddah & Taif. The bird was initially seen near to the spray fields and then spent some time hunting over the fields where at one stage three Black-winged Stilts chased it. This was very helpful to Phil and I as it flew right overhead allowing us to get some close up photos.