26 June 2022

Summer Sand Martins – Jubail

Sand Martin is a very common passage migrant throughout Saudi Arabia with over 2,000 recorded at Dawmat al-Jandal reservoir, Northwest Saudi Arabia in April one year. A few occur in winter, but these may be late passage birds rather than true wintering individuals. Summer records are rare, and breeding has not been recorded, but this year up to ten birds have been around continually this spring and summer and I noticed a juvenile in amongst them. This is probably a bird that has bred in a nearby country rather than one from Saudi Arabia itself, but we will never know for sure. I contacted Yoav Perlman in Israel who mentioned fresh juveniles have occurred in Israel in May, but no nests have been found and they assume these to breed close to Israel if not in Israel itself. The photos below are of a few of the birds I managed to photograph on 18 July, but their fast flight, heavy hand held lens and incredibly high temperatures made photographing them very difficult with the ones below my best efforts.