15 May 2014

Dusty weather brings some birds – Dhahran Hills

The recent run of relatively poor weather has continued this week with some strong wind and plenty of dust in the air making photography quite difficult at times and restricting the views of birds in the field. Despite the poor weather I have still been out and about each evening and have been rewarded with a few interesting sightings. The first Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters were busy catching small insects in a worst of the dust on 11 May but the dust made it impossible to photograph the birds in flight. I did manage to get close to one bird that was reluctant to fly with the best photograph shown below. Spotted Flycatchers and Red-backed Shrikes remain the commonest birds on the camp with up to 15 of each species seen on single days. On one poor day the Spotted Flycatchers were all sitting around on the ground rather than on their preferred perches looking a bit sad for themselves. One Lesser Grey Shrike remained all week in the scrub desert area and a few European Turtle Doves were also seen in various places. A few warblers were also grounded by the weather with Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats seen in various small patches of grass and scrub all over the camp. Other than the migrants a few Namaqua Doves are now paired up and getting ready for the breeding season with up to ten birds seen each day mainly in the spray fields area of the camp.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Spotted Flycatcher
European Turtle Dove
Red-backed Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike