Quantcast
Jul 132012
 

Saunder’s Tern is a common bird on the coast but is scarce inland. On Sunday Phil and I saw two juvenile terns flying about on the percolation pond which from a distance appeared to have a lot of black in the wing. Juvenile terns are difficult to identify at the best of times but this combined with the distance and the fact Little Tern is far more common inland than Saunder’s Tern left us leaving the birds unidentified.

We later walked around the pond and got much better and closer views and the birds had rumps concolourous with their mantles indicating Saunder’s Tern. Other birds seen whilst walking around the pond included a juvenile White-eared Bulbul, indicating breeding has occurred again in the camp, and two European Turtle Doves.

Numbers of European Turtle Doves seem to have increased slightly in the last couple of days with eight seen the day before. A real surprise was a first year Mauryan (Steppe) Grey Shrike on 8th July, which is a very early record for this migrant.

White-eared Bulbul (juvenile)
White-eared Bulbul (juvenile)
European Turtle Dove
Black-winged Stilt (adult)

Other migrants seen in the last few days included a single Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, 20+ Sand Martins, six Barn Swallows, three Little Terns, three Common Sandpipers, one Green Sandpiper, one Wood Sandpiper and one Common Greenshank. A minimum of 16 Little Grebes are currently sitting on nests on the pond which is the largest number ever breeding at this site. Conditions are ideal for the species to breed with lots of pond weed and low water levels and they have certainly taken advantage of this situation. Black-winged Stilts are plentiful with a minimum of fifty birds, mainly juveniles on the pond.

For more information about my birding exploits in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia and ringing trips to Bahrain, please visit my website “Birds of Saudi Arabia“.

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.


Leave a Comment

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [2139 Views]
  2. » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [1385 Views]
  3. Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [690 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [678 Views]
  5. Iceland’s Seabird Colonies Are Vanishing, With “Massive” Chick Deaths » [571 Views]
  6. Barn owls ‘threatened’ by new legislation » [438 Views]
  7. The 1,300 Bird Species Facing Extinction Signal Threats to Human Health » [431 Views]
  8. Russia Stops Japanese Whaling Ship Dead In Its Tracks » [402 Views]
  9. Scientists uncover five new species of ‘toupee’ monkeys in the Amazon » [381 Views]
  10. Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game » [350 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [12359 Views]
  2. Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [7961 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7938 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [7049 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5645 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [5283 Views]
  7. Wildlife Photography – Ethics and Conservation Issues? » [5224 Views]
  8. POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4944 Views]
  9. Komodo and its Dragons » [4728 Views]
  10. Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [4291 Views]