17 October 2023

Red-wattled Lapwing – Dhahran Cricket Field

Phil Roberts found a Red-wattled Lapwing in the morning of 10 October, whilst looking for the Sociable Lapwing on Dhahran Cricket Field. This was only the third time I have seen the species in Dhahran camp. I was at work and unable to go, so went at lunchtime and found the bird, with the Sociable Lapwing hiding from the hot sun under one of the cricket field stands. It flew almost immediately once it saw me and I managed to get a couple of nice photos of it in flight. It returned to the field but was only seen on this one day. The species is scarce in Saudi Arabia with records from Riyadh, the Empty Quarter and the Eastern Province. They are resident breeders at wetlands in United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, and is gradually colonizing westwards. It was first recording breeding in Saudi Arabia at Sabkhat Al Fasl, a couple of years ago and has bred at Khafra Marsh, Jubail for the last two years. In the Eastern province it is regarded as a scarce passage migrant, rare breeder and scarce winter visitor although records are becoming more common with over twenty birds seen together at Shaybah in recent years.