Whilst birding the area of Haradh recently where we concentrated on looking in the pivot irrigation fields we also saw a few other good birds around the filed edges and surrounding areas. The first good birds we saw were just outside the main entrance to the huge HADEC farm complex where a nesting colony of Spanish Sparrows were found with at least 200 birds.
Plenty of old nests were also in evidence but whether they were breeding at the time I could not confirm. Also amongst the Spanish Sparrows were several House Sparrows. Around the edge of the spray fields we saw a number of Steppe Grey Shrikes and Daurian Shrikes as well as a few Isabelline and Desert Wheatears as well as a single Red-tailed Whatear on some rocks on a bank.
Only a couple of Barn Swallows were flying around and Eurasian Skylarks were thin on the ground with only five seen all day. The lack of Eurasian Skylarks was partially made up for by the hundreds of Greater Short-toed Larks with well over 300 birds seen in various flocks. One of the better birds seen were a few Black-crowned Sparrow Larks.
Although not an uncommon species they are always nice to see and some of the birds gave excellent views in good light, allowing some good photos to be taken, a rare situation for this species.
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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