27 May 2024

Collared Pratincoles – Dhahran Cricket Field

Whilst birding the Dhahran Cricket Field, I saw and photographed an adult Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincole. The bird was in the middle of the grass area meaning I had to walk out to get near to it, but luckily it was tolerant to people and allowed close approach. It was disturbed a few times by people exercising their dogs but on the first two occasions returning to the same area of the cricket field. On the last occasion, however, it flew off towards the percolation pond and I could not re-find it. The Collared Pratincole is an uncommon passage migrant to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, with a similar status in the Riyadh area where they occur from late March to May and in August and September. During the remaining summer months and in October it tends to be scarce and irregular. Records are more common in the autumn than spring in Riyadh with autumn movement from late July to late October, peaking late August to early September, when flocks of 40 plus (mainly juveniles) are regularly encountered. In the southwest, west and northwest of the country records are more common mainly at freshwater inland areas where flocks of over 100 have been recorded at Tabuk.