26 July 2014

Some good summer birds – Sabkaht Al Fasl

The weekend trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl turned up a few good birds, even though it is the middle of summer and birding is generally quiet. The best birds were three Egyptian Nightjars, closely followed by two juvenile Eurasian Spoonbills an uncommon species. This is a species becoming more common in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and these birds may even have bred here. Habitat is suitable and adults were seen regularly in May with juveniles now in July. Other birds that are possibly breeding here are Black-headed Yellow Wagtails and Squacco Herons, both species not regarded as breeding species for the site. The long staying Red-wattled Lapwing and over-summering Greater Spotted Eagle were not seen on this trip so may have moved on? A few waders are already on the move with Common Sandpipers and Green Sandpipers seen in small numbers along with breeding Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plovers and Little Ringed Plovers. A very early female Garganey was also seen which was a bit of a surprise. Other good birds included hundreds of Little Terns, White-cheeked Terns and Indian Reef Herons and well over 1000 Greater Flamingos still present. A few Barn Swallows and two Sand Martins were over the reed beds, but little other signs of migration noted.
Yellow Wagtail
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Garganey - female