31 January 2021

More Sociable Lapwings – Wadi Ad Dewasir

As Phil Roberts and I had found wintering Sociable Lapwings at both Haradh (for fifth year) and Qarat Al Ulya in the Eastern Province this winter and I had a long weekend from work, I suggested we go to Wadi Ad Dewasir. This has extensive pivot irrigation fields and had not been looked at since 1999. We hoped to locate more Sociable Lapwings here during the trip as well as to see if we could find anything else interesting. We spent most of our time checking the fields and particularly the ploughed ones for Sociable Lapwing. On day one, we were not successful in finding Sociable Lapwings but on the second day I located three birds in a ploughed field. It was near to midday and the light was harsh, combined with the flighty nature of the birds meant only the below poor photos could be taken before we left the bird in peace. This looks like another wintering area for the species and suggests Saudi Arabia could be an extremely important wintering ground for the critically endangered species. We asked farmers we came across about Sociable Lapwings and showed them pictures to see if they had seen them and all said no. This suggests that although they occur there they must do so in very low numbers, also supported by us only seeing them once despite spending two full days looking entirely at the pivot fields.