Abdullah started birding at 4.30 this morning and got the rewards he deserved. I'll blog about his findings and mine in more detail tomorrow. In the meantime, the bird in question was common snipe.
We had had a conversation about two weeks ago that it should be found in the wet ground adjacent to the main Riyadh river. And sure enough that is exactly where Abdullah found one which had become disturbed by a bird of prey overhead. Abdullah tells me if the bird hadn't moved he would never have noticed it.
straight on view of today's common snipe
Tom Tarrant's records for the early 1990s describe the bird as common especially in winter and Helms guide says its a passage bird or winterer throughout the region. In some ways its surprising we haven't seen it before.
side on view of the common snipe
There is much more to say about today in following blogs!