01 January 2021

Black-winged Kite - Khafra Marsh

Whilst birding Khafra Marsh in December 2020 we found an adult Black-winged Kite, only the sixth record for the Eastern Province. Records previously from the Eastern Province were one at Dhahran Saudi Aramco Camp spray fields 29 March to 17 April 2012 with another 20 April 2014, one Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm, Fadhili, near Jubail, 4 September 2015. A pair were at Khafrah Marsh in 2019 with a juvenile also seen, suggesting possible breeding. A single was at Mulayjah near Nayriyah 13 March 2019. All birds sub-specifically identified in the north and east of the Kingdom were of the eastern subspecies Elanus caeruleus vociferous a subspecies that occurs from Pakistan east to southern & eastern China, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula. Black-winged Kite is a scarce visitor to the Kingdom, but is becoming more common in recent years with birds seen in almost every month and from all parts of the Kingdom.