28 February 2022

Bonelli’s Eagle – Al Asfar Lake

Whilst birding Al Asfar Lake near Al Hassa on 25 February we saw a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus perched on a power line pylon. It was early morning and the light was in the wrong direction, so the photos were not so good – see below. Bonelli’s Eagle is a rare migrant to all areas of the Kingdom and is possibly a winter visitor to Tihamah, Hejaz and Asir. Records from the Eastern province are as a vagrant with the only records being a first year at Dhahran 2-9 January 1981, one Dhahran 4-27 February 1981, one captured exhausted 20 kilometres south of Safaniya 14 July 1984, one at Qatif 11 December 1991, a juvenile in flight at Jabal Nariyyah 25 January 2007 and a juvenile Sabhka al-Fasl 10 December 2015 and a juvenile in flight Dhahran 11 March 2017