12 Feb 2021

Some good birds in the pivot fields – Wadi Ad Dewasir

Wadi Ad Dewasir has several thousand pivot irrigation fields and is situated in central Saudi Arabia 1000 kilometes southwest of Dhahran. We spent three days birding the area in November and located some very interesting species. One species which had not been recorded there before but which we found in many places in small flocks totaling over 150 birds was Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse. A local farmer I asked about the birds suggested they were common in the area, and this proved to be correct from our observations. Other species that were common were Cream-coloured Courser with over 50 seen each day and in one field a very large winter gathering of Caspian Plover totaling 36 birds. This is the largest winter group for many years in the Kingdom although hundreds were recorded in the Eastern Province in the 1980’s. Greater Hoopoe Lark was found feeding around the edge of several pivot fields with Great Grey Shrike (aucheri) seen occasionally perched in trees, shrubs or on hay bales. Commoner birds included House Sparrow, Indian Silverbill, Crested Lark, Yellow Wagtail, Arabian Green Bee-eater and Western Marsh Harrier. Lastly, at last two Pharaoh Eagle Owls were noted on the escarpment edge.

Arabian Green Bee-eater

Caspian Plover


Caspian Plover

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Cream-coloured Courser

Cream-coloured Courser

Crested Lark

Crested Lark

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Greater Hoopoe-Lark

Greater Hoopoe-Lark

Greater Hoopoe-Lark

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail


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