Tuesday, 17 April 2012

New venue at al Hayer

Friday's birding was never going to be as good as Thursday's because there was no repeat of the night before's heavy rain.

Yet I started out by birding the same places as on Thursday. The results were poor. Only about half the species were present. Many passage birds such as the white throated robin used the calmer Thursday night to move on.

I had to think of something to improve the birding. So in desperation I walked further down the Riyadh river than I have ever done before.

a flock of little stint

I wish I had done this before. The landscape opens up into lagoons and mud flats with some wetland too. It is a new venue and has a lot of promise as a different habitat in the al Hayer area.

The most obvious set of birds were waders.  Little stint were the most common.  

part of the habitat at the far southern end of the Riyadh river

There were also at least two Temminck's stint associating with the little stint.

At first the Temminck's stint were difficult to make out as the day was sandy and visibility affected. Indeed there was a sand storm in the evening. Furthermore I didn't use the few pieces of cover very well which affects my views of all the birds. I won't make that mistake again. 

The dust in the air also unfortunately affected the quality of my photographs.

Temminck's stint

There were at least three different types of sandpiper present. These were green sandpiper, common sandpiper and wood sandpiper.

common sandpiper

I have seen all three during the winter at al Hayer but not in the same numbers as here.

two wood sandpiper

Very occasionally I have also seen black winged stilt but here there were at least five.

black winged stilt

Both little ringed plover and ringed plover were seen. Apparently little ringed plover breeds at al Hayer (as does black winged stilt).

little ringed plover

Apologies for the poor quality of the picture of the ringed plover. There are others which superficially looked better quality but only this one properly showed the orange of the legs.

ringed plover

There were other water birds which the camera didn't capture. There were purple heron, squacco heron and a group of four little egret. There were also three common snipe which surprised me that they still haven't moved off north. 

Tomorrow I will blog about the non-waders found at this new birding site.

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