25 August 2014

Thirteen Egyptian Nightjars - Sabkhat Al Fasl

As mentioned in a previous post it is clear that the status of Egyptian Nightjar has changed in eastern Saudi Arabia in the 21st Century, with the majority of birds no longer seen during the migration periods of early November & March to mid-May. In Saudi Arabia it was previously regarded as a vagrant (Bundy et al 1989) but is now known as a scarce passage migrant, summer and winter visitor, with July & August the best period for locating them. The below photos were taken by me at Sabkhat Al Fasl on 22 August 2014, and are of a number of different individuals, when a minimum of thirteen birds were seen. Thirteen birds is the highest day count for the species in the country beating the previous high count of eleven from the same site some years ago. Sabkhat Al Fasl is certainly the best place in Saudi Arabia for seeing the species and one of the best sites in Arabia as these records suggest. Seeing so many birds in such a small area of the site was an amazing experience and at one stage eight birds were seen in the air together.