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Aug 032012
 

Another early morning trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl, as I do most weekends, resulted in a few good birds. The first bird I saw on entering the area was a Steppe Grey Shrike, which I will post details and photographs of later. Other birds seen on the way into the main water areas were two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, one Barn Swallow and a Sand Martin. Terns were quite evident with about 40 adult Little Terns and two adult Saunder’s Terns with plenty of juvenile Little/Saunder’s Terns in their company. 68 Caspian Terns were on the main sabkha area with 30+ White-cheeked Terns with well grown juveniles. Three White-winged Terns were also present on the shallow water site with a fine adult summer just starting to moult into winter plumage.

White-winged Tern (adult summer)
White-winged Tern in flight (adult summer)
White-winged Tern in flight (adult summer)
White-winged Tern (adult winter)
White-winged Tern (adult winter)

The Egyptian Nightjar, or possibly another bird as its plumage looks different to the bird I photographed last weekend, was present in almost the same place I saw one last weekend. A few waders were about including a Common Greenshank, six Little Stints (the first returning birds of the autumn for me at this site), 15 Curlew Sandpipers, 20+ Greater Sand Plovers and 23 Pied Avocets. Six Purple Swamphens were in the reeds, but only two Clamorous Reed Warblers were seen. A single adult Greater Flamingo was looking a bit lonely and single juvenile Little Bittern was seen in flight at the other end of the site to where I saw a juvenile a couple of weeks ago.

Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar
Purple Swamphen

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.


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