25 January 2023

Common Wood Pigeon - Sakaka

Nader Fahd took us to some farms in Qiyal area of Sakaka to see if we could locate Wood Pigeon, a species I had not seen before in Saudi Arabia. Nader mentioned he saw them regularly all through the year, but with larger numbers in the winter months. This is the first time I have heard they are resident as I previously thought they were winter visitors. Wood Pigeon is the largest pigeon in Saudi Arabia and occurs in good sized flocks with up to 200 birds seen on occasion feeding in fields. They often occur in the farms with date palms and we managed to see over 100 birds in the afternoon of searching. We saw two different groups of 50 birds each and several others besides but trying to find birds perched at a close enough range to photograph them was very difficult. The best I could manage was to photograph the birds as they all took flight from the palm trees before circling around and landing back in the trees. They were almost impossible to spot before they took flight once we entered the area they had landed. This was another species were Nader’s local knowledge was very useful for locating the species, as was his excellent eyesight seeing birds perched in trees a great range.