13 May 2016

A new birding site - Abqaiq Wetlands

Saudi Aramco Abqaiq and Saudi Aramco Environmental Protection Department, especially Abdullah Alsuhaibany, have helped clean up and create a fenced off area for birds at Abqaiq called Abqaiq Wetlands. This area was previously very good for birds in the late 1980’s but has had little effort in recording species there in recent years as it had become a dumping ground for waste. Phil Roberts and I went there on Sunday 1 May to undertake a survey of the birds present and were very impressed by the site. A lot of work has been done and the area is fenced with a locked gate to restrict access and protect the area. There are a number of wet areas including small lakes some with phragmites reeds and small areas of Tamarisks. Surrounding two sides is an extensive woodland belt, again with restricted access that has many mature trees and is an excellent habitat for birds. Two bird hides have been built by Saudi Aramco Abqaiq, one overlooking a large lake and the other overlooking the entire site. The idea is to eventually open part of the location of the people of Abqaiq at certain times as an educational aid to helping encourage environmental awareness, especially among the children of the area. This location is and will continue to be attractive to birds and Saudi Aramco and Abdullah Alsuhaibany and his colleagues should be thoroughly commended for their effort with this project. In the next post I will show some details of what we saw in our time there. I thank Abdullah Alsuhaibany and Chris Boland for getting me access to the location and for passing on the key to the gate to me.
Abqaiq Wetlands

Abqaiq Wetlands


  1. Jem
    Great news, we hope that deal come to other birds important areas in our country like SAF , Al Hayer , Abo Arish lakes and more, thanks for aramco.

    1. Mansur

      I agree there is plenty to do protecting nature in Saudi Arabia but with SWA and Saudi Aramco trying their best we can only hope for better things to come in the future.


  2. Sounds fantastic. Well done all involved