09 February 2024

Common Chiffchaffs – Dhahran Waste Water Lake

I recently saw a number of Common Chiffchaff in a large depression with tall Mesquite trees in. As the birds were quite active in the very early morning I went down to try to obtain photographs of them and I stayed in this are for an hour or so. Unfortunately, the birds were staying well in cover and only occasionally venturing out in the open, but too quickly for my reactions to get photos. I managed to photograph one bird out in the open and another in the trees and failed with all other attempts. In Saudi Arabia Common Chiffchaff is a very common passage migrant and common winter visitor that is widespread across much of the Kingdom. Spring passage occurs from late February and peaks in early March with good numbers throughout this month, decreasing rapidly through April and only occasional stragglers until late May. Migrants can occur anywhere, but favour areas with Tamerisk, Acacia, Mesquite, small farms containing palms and cultivated fields and gardens. Winter numbers are much lower than those on passage, but birds are still common mainly in parks and areas with large trees, particularly Acacia & Mesquite, where they tend to stay high in trees and their calls can be heard commonly, from November to March.