Whilst birding the NADAC Farm area of Haradh recently I saw plenty of Harriers including a female Montagu’s Harriers in a pivot irrigation field. Male Montagu’s Harriers are easily identified by their upperwing pattern amongst other details but Juvenile and female Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers are difficult to identify with certainty and good views are needed. Montagu’s Harrier are uncommon passage migrants in the Eastern Province mainly from April to May and from September to October with a few birds apparently wintering and up to eight seen in a day at Haradh in September.
Pallid Harrier is a more common species than Montagu’s Harrier with the species an uncommon passage migrant from late February to early May and again from September through November. Haradh is the best locality for seeing the species and previously during winter almost all records refer to adult males over cultivated fields, although now females appear to outnumber males. Western Marsh Harrier is also seen regularly over the pivot fields in Haradh where we saw an adult male and several females.
Normally they occur near water but in Haradh spend the time hunting over the grassy fields. This species is a common winter visitors to areas such as Jubail and other inland water areas like Al Asfar Lake near Hufouf. They arrive in September and remain until late April or early May.