10 Feb 2016

Saudi Arabia largest flock of Northern Lapwings - Haradh

As mentioned in a previous post Phil Roberts and I travelled to Haradh an area of extensive pivot irrigation fields three hours drive from Dhahran and found some access to some very good looking fields in various stages of growth from ploughed to fallow to newly growing. We eventually came across two very damp newly ploughed fields that had a single Northern Lapwing in it, but as we got closer more and more birds flew out. The birds turned into a flock of over two hundred and at one stage we saw an even bigger flock in flight over the second field making a total count of at least 425 birds. This is the largest flock ever in the Kingdom and is probably due to the exceptionally cold weather we have had recently with temperatures at 4 degrees Celsius the day we were at Haradh and even colder in the Hail area where it was minus three degrees Celsius. The Birds of the Eastern Province 1989 mentioned they were a scarce and somewhat irregular visitor with records from November to early April but chiefly from November through January.  In 1979-71 up to 15 wintered in Dhahran but this proved to be exceptional, showing how large this flock was. Elsewhere in Saudi Arabia high counts have been at Al Safi Dairy farm, Central province, where at least 111 individuals were seen 25 January 2001. Birds of Thumamah 1988-1994 said maximum numbers were 100 in the winter 1992/1993. It status in the Kingdom is as an uncommon winter visitor to all areas north of a line from Hofuf, through Riyadh to Hail.
Northern Lapwing

Northern Lapwing

No comments:

Post a Comment