12 January 2022

Sanderling – Al Uqayr

Whilst birding the area near Al Uqayr Customs House we came across a flooded area caused by the large amount of rain that fell at the end of December. On scanning the few waders that were present I located a single Sanderling amongst the Dunlin and Kentish Plover. This is an Uncommon passage migrant and uncommon winter visitor to Saudi Arabia and bird I don’t see so often. As a result, I turned the car around and carefully tried to get into position to see the waders well with the light behind and avoid getting stick in the mud. On arrival at the area it became apparent there were quite a few Sanderling present totalling twenty birds as well as four Greater Sandplovers and twenty plus Dunlin. We spent some time checking the trees along the coast here for Hypocolious as a large flock had spent last winter in the area and despite quite a lot of effort only managed to find two separate individuals some distance apart. A Lesser Whitethroat, Song Thrush, Eastern Black Redstart, several Common Chiffchaff and a calling Siberian Chiffchaff were only other really notable birds seen.