30 October 2015

Long-legged Buzzard at Sabkhat Al Fasl – Bird records by Phil Roberts

Phil found a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus at Sabkhat Al Fasl whilst birding there last weekend. This is an uncommon breeding resident in all areas of the Kingdom. In the Riyadh area it is a scarce resident as well as a migrant and winter visitor. It has retreated for breeding to remoter areas as urbanisation and farming have expanded. It remains a breeding resident in small numbers and sightings suggest a big increase in the winter population. In the southwest it is regarded as an uncommon resident seen in all months except January. There is one record from the Empty Quarter of a bird coming to drink at an irrigation pipe at GOSP 2. This is an indigenous resident of the Rub al Khali. In the Eastern Province it is a breeding resident, that is thinly distributed and small in numbers. Migrants occur particularly in the autumn that wander over the deserts but are more often seen in the coastal zone  from September through November. The bird Phil saw may well have been a migrant as they are not seen very often at this location even though it is probably the best watched site in the Eastern Province. They are not easy to see let alone photograph so Phil’s photos are a good result for his efforts at birdwatching this location. I thank Phil for kindly allowing me to use his photos on my website two of which are shown below.