5 Dec 2019

Birding the Riyadh River – Al Hair

I went birding to the Riyadh River near Al Hair recently. It is an amazing site with running river, reed beds and nearby pivot irrigation fields. As I live four hours drive away from Riyadh, I have not been before, but this will certainly not be my last trip. On arrival at the site I saw a huge flock of over one hundred Black-crowned Night Herons, easily the largest number I have seen in Saudi Arabia. A Western Osprey was sitting in a tree and groups of Mallard and Pintail were flying around. There were six or more White-throated Kingfishers and plenty of Arabian Bee-eaters sitting around along with some Crested Larks. One pivot irrigation field held two European Rollers and plenty of Streaked Weavers, Arabian Golden Sparrows, Red Avadavat and Spanish Sparrows as well as a few Black Scrub Robin. The rocky areas nearby held Blackstart and Eastern Morning Wheatears. The Riyadh area is the closest place Arabian Bee-eater and Blackstart occur to the Eastern Province although both are common further west and south. The pools and rivers held large numbers of Grey Heron and a few Purple Heron and Common Moorhen were everywhere. 
Arabian Bee-eater
Arabian Bee-eater
Arabian Bee-eater
Arabian Bee-eater
Arabian Bee-eater
Arabian Bee-eater
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Blackstart
Blackstart
Crested Lark
Crested Lark
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
European Roller
European Roller
Mallard
Mallard
Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

1 comment:

  1. Basra Reed Warblers have been breeding there as well. A good reason to go back in May or June!
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/saudi-birding/probable-breeding-basra-reed-warbler-in-al-hair-riyadh-province-ksa/1520990828031985/

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