31 October 2020

Sociable Lapwings continue to winter in Eastern Province of KSA - Haradh

On 16 October 2020, Phil Roberts and I set out from Dhahran at 3:00am to drive the 300km south to Haradh for a day’s bird watching with our primary objective to see if we could once again find any Sociable Lapwings. In addition to desert, Haradh has large areas of modified habitat created by pivot irrigation fields, growing primarily fodder crops.  In the winters of 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 Phil and I found wintering Sociable Lapwings in this area an amazing discovery as previous to us finding the birds in 2016 there had only been a single record of a single bird in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom. That bird was also at Haradh. We know that recently ploughed fields hold a great attraction to the Sociable Lapwings, but checked the grassy fields as well. We soon located several Spur-winged Lapwings and then a single Sociable Lapwing. One additional searching we located six birds in a grassy field. Moving on towards some ploughed fields nearby, we located a flock of five Sociable Lapwings blending in extremely well with the soil and keeping partially hidden down the furrows. Whilst searching we came across a few Northern Lapwing. This is now the fifth successive ywinter that we have found Sociable Lapwings in this location, showing Haradh has become an established new wintering location for this Critically Endangered species.