Whilst birding the Jebal Hamrah pivot irrigation fields recently with Phil Roberts, I came across a Bimaculated Lark Melanocorypha bimaculata. The bird was on the edge of the field in with a very large group of around three hundred Greater Short-toed Larks, but flew almost immediately.
We moved to where it had landed and refound the bird with two more. After much moving around and trying to relocate the birds to get some photographs to eliminate the chance of any of them being Calandra Larks, a species that has been present in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE this winter, we eventually decided there were eight birds present.
The species apparently breeds in the Harrat al Harrah Reserve and is otherwise a scarce or uncommon passage migrant mainly in March and April as well as October and November throughout the Kingdom.
Most records are from the Riyadh area with very few from the Eastern Province although Phil and I saw a flock of 40 in a pivot irrigation field near Nayriyyah 14 March 2013.
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.