Winter Harriers – Haradh

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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.

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. 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.

Montagu’s Harrier – female
Montagu’s Harrier – female
Pallid Harrier

 

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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.

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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