11 Feb 2020

Winter birding – Haradh

Haradh is an excellent site with many pivot irrigation fields that attract a lot of wintering birds. We visited recently and were quite disappointed to find many of the pivots have stopped being used to grow crops. This is probably as a result of the Kingdoms requirement for farmers to stop growing fodder crops from November 2018 to save precious underground water supplies. The fields were mainly there to feed the large herds of cows owned by NADEC and they have probably stopped growing the crop. There were a few fields with what looked like potatoes growing that had a few birds but numbers were significantly down on previous years due to lack of irrigated fields. We did manage to see a few good birds such as a male and female Pallid Harrier, good numbers of both Greater Short-toed Lark and Lesser Short-toed Lark and hundreds of White Wagtail. Several Desert Wheatear were also scattered around the fields. One field with crops held a flock of over thirty Northern Lapwings but nothing else of note could be seen with them. A flock of thirty Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse flew over at one point only the fifth record for the Eastern Province but the second in two years from Haradh. A Greater Hoopoe Lark gave good views as did a few Spanish Sparrows.
Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Hoopoe Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark
Lesser Short-toed Lark
Lesser Short-toed Lark
Northern Lapwing
Northern Lapwing
Northern Lapwing
Northern Lapwing
Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

1 comment:

  1. I find this entire article very informative and descriptive. It took a deep plunge into ornithology. Keeping us alert and making us aware of the birds in Saudi Arabia has been a different experience. The photos have added compliments to your article. Your angles showing the bird's features are lovely.

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