19 June 2020

First breeding record of Red-wattled Lapwing for Saudi Arabia – Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area in early June, after Covid-19 lockdown was eased in the Kingdom, Phil Roberts found a breeding pair of Red-Wattled Lapwing with four chicks about a week old. The following weekend I went and we re-found the birds, but I only saw one youngster. Red-wattled Lapwing is scarce species in Saudi Arabia with records from Riyadh, the Empty Quarter and the Eastern Province. In the Eastern province it is regarded as a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor although records are becoming more common with over twenty birds seen together at Shaybah in recent years with others near Hofuf, Jubail and Dhahran. There have been a number of suspected breeding birds seen but no actual confirmation of the species breeding in the Kingdom until now. This species is a resident breeder at wetlands in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, and is gradually colonizing westwards.