04 July 2023

Breeding Red-wattled Lapwing – Khafra Marsh

Whilst birding Khafra Marsh in late June, I came across an adult Red-wattled Lapwing flying over calling continuously and trying to lead me away from the area I had originally seen it. It was obvious young were around and I saw another adult run quickly into some long grass where the young were hiding. I didn't stay long looking for the birds as I did not want to disturb them. This is only the third record I know of breeding Red-wattled Lapwing for Saudi Arabia with the first at Sabkhat Al Fasl, Jubail in 2020 and another in Qatif the same year. Red-wattled Lapwing is scarce species in Saudi Arabia with records from Riyadh, the Empty Quarter, and the Eastern Province. In the Eastern province it is regarded as a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor although records are becoming more common with over twenty birds seen together at Shaybah in recent years with others near Hofuf, Jubail and Dhahran. This species is a resident breeder at wetlands in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, and is gradually colonizing westwards.