13 Nov 2019

European Bee-eater – Raydah Escarpment

An afternoon trip to the Raydah Escarpment in mid-October produced my first records of European Bee-eaters for the site. A large thunderstorm and dark clouds made the light very poor in the wadi at the bottom of the escarpment and after walking down the wadi for some way we quickly returned to the car before heavy rain set in. Once back at the car we drove back down the same wadi we had walked down and came across a few bee-eaters flying around and landing in the trees. After a while, it became apparent more and more birds were arriving probably settling in a sheltered area to wait out the storm. Groups of birds would gather on the dusty track and dust bath a little and overall we saw well over 100 birds and probably closer to 150. As the light was very poor good photographs were difficult to obtain but I did manage to grab a couple of half-decent shots. European Bee-eater is a common passage migrant throughout Saudi Arabia and has been seen in the reserve commonly in the past but as I seldom go in migration time and am normally there in the summer months I had not seen the species in the location previously.
European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater


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