18 December 2022

Bonelli’s Eagle – Al Asfar Lake

Whilst birding Al Asfar Lake near Al Hassa on 10 December we came across a second year Bonelli’s Eagle sitting on a power pylon. It was early morning and was raining slightly so the light was poor and photography difficult. The bird appeared to be trying to dry out spreading its wings occasionally. Bonelli’s Eagle is a rare migrant and winter visitor to all areas of the Kingdom. Records from the Eastern province are very limited 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, a juvenile Sabhka al-Fasl 10 December 2015, a juvenile in flight Dhahran 11 March 2017 and a juvenile Al Asfar Lake 18-25 February 2021.