31 August 2015

Eurasian Spoonbills – Sabkhat Al Fasl

A trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl, Jubail on 21 August produced three Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia on the flooded sabkha. The soecies is not known to breed in the area, but the increasing number of records indicates they may do soon as they breed in nearby Kuwait on the Bubiyan and Warba Islands, to the north. The status of the species has changed over the years in the Eastern Province, with it being regarded as a rare and irregular visitor usually involving immature birds until the end of the 1980’s. Now it is considered to be an uncommon passage migrant in the Eastern Province. The main stronghold for the species in Saudi Arabia is the Red Sea where it is a common resident breeder. Largest numbers are seen in the southwest near Jizan but birds have been recorded all along the coast to north on Yanbu.