Apr 212017

Whilst birdwatching the Jubail area at the end of March I saw a lot of good birds and plenty of migrants. Unfortunately the weather was very poor and photography was difficult so most species remained un-photographed. The weather this winter has been very wet and windy and the morning drive to Jubail was through a huge thunderstorm with plenty of rain.

Luckily on arrival the rain stopped but the light remained poor. Good migrants seen included four Collared Pratincoles, a Wryneck, four Savi’s Warblers, a male Pallid Harrier, male Lesser Kestrel, Baillon’s Crake, Spotted Crake and plenty of Pallid Swifts, Barn Swallows and Sand Martins. The Lesser Kestrel was a new site species for me, which was great. Waders seen included Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Common Snipe and Little Stint.

There were still at least four Greater Spotted Eagles and ten plus Western Marsh Harriers but these species should be moving off in the next week or two. Herons were common with Squacco Herons, Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets and a single Purple Heron seen. A number of pipits were located at several sites mainly Red-throated and Tree Pipits and Turkestan and Daurian Shrikes were still common.

Common Sandpiper

Little Ringed Plover

Little Tern

Turkestan Shrike

Blue-headed Wagtail

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron


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Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

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