Thursday, 23 February 2012

Ha'ir, Saudi Arabia

I took my usual route down to Ha'ir pivot fields today along the wadi from Dirab and it seems that migration is now starting. On the way to the pivot fields I stopped by the roost at the fish farm which held 82 black kite.

I spent 8 hours walking most of the pivots and the waterside edges to the south. The irrigation equipment provided a good perch for a large count of 105 cattle egret.

Cattle egret

The first group of migrants were two flocks of common swift that moved quickly through, clearly much darker than the usual pallid swift. The next flock of migrants was 9 lesser kestrel hovering over an irrigated alfalfa field. The paths around the fields held the usual desert wheatear but also present were 3 pied wheatear no doubt newly arrived.

Steppe grey shrike

Several species of shrike were present including my first woodchat shrike for Saudi Arabia and at the side of the same pivot field was a nice rufous morph steppe buzzard.

Steppe buzzard

_______________ FULL LIST _______________ 

82 Black kite

4 Mallard
1 Teal
1 Little grebe
1 Great cormorant
1 Little bittern
12 Grey heron
6 Purple heron
105 Cattle egret
4 Squacco heron
4 Marsh harrier
1 Steppe buzzard
1 Greater spotted eagle
9 Lesser kestrel
4 Common kestrel
12 Moorhen
2 Coot
4 Lapwing
3 Green sandpiper
2 Wood sandpiper
8 Snipe
200 Eurasian collared dove
100 Laughing dove
40 Namaqua dove
30 Common swift
3 White-throated kingfisher
20 Green bee-eater
1 Turkestan shrike
2 Southern grey shrike
1 Steppe grey shrike
1 Woodchat shrike
2 Brown-necked raven
20 Crested lark
3 Skylark
2 Sand martin
2 Rock martin
150 Barn swallow
5 White-spectacled bulbul
50 White-cheeked bulbul
5 Chiffchaff
25 Graceful prinia
3 Black scrub robin
9 Bluethroat
7 European stonechat
3 Pied wheatear
15 Desert wheatear
15 Starling
1 Yellow wagtail
120 White wagtail
8 Tawny pipit
120 Spanish sparrow
1 Streaked weaver
3 Indian silverbill

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