26 May 2014

Indian Silverbills – Dhahran Hills

Indian Silverbill is a resident breeder in Dhahran but they are not often seen and occur in very small numbers. They probably colonized the area naturally, although there is a possibility escaped cage birds were originally involved. Birds are most often seen in Dhahran feeding on the seeds of tall grasses around the edges of the scrubby desert area as well as around the golf course. They normally occur in small groups of up to ten birds and are rarely seen singly. I have seen several small groups in the last week feeding by the edge of the spray fields, although may all have been the same group as the species is very mobile. Apart from the Indian Silverbills, there has been a drop off of birds on the camp. Shrike numbers are well down with only the occasional Red-backed Shrike and warblers are now thin on the ground. There are still a few Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats around but otherwise it is very quiet. A single Whinchat has been showing very well for the last few days by the edge of the spray field and has ben so close I could not focus the camera on it. It has been a good year for this species in the Eastern Province. Otherwise there has been a steady but slow trickle of Barn Swallows and Sand Martins but little else. The only other birds of note have been a few waders with up to five Wood Sandpipers passing though and resident breeding Kentish Plover and Little Ringed Plovers about with well-grown juveniles. Three Black-winged Stilts still remain on the flooded spray fields and a male Little Bittern has been showing well on the percolation pond, a specie that is not so regularly seen on the camp.
Indian Silverbill
Little Ringed Plover - juvenile
Wood Sandpiper