Tuesday, 9 October 2012

High tide roost, Khobar

At the crack of dawn on Friday morning, Lou Regensmorter and I started our second full day's birding in Eastern Province.

We headed straight to the so called high tide roost between Khobar and Dammam on the coast. There is an inlet from the sea here which fills up with water at high tide causing the birds to move up into a small area.

For us this meant seeing eight or so western reef egrets together but when we looked more carefully there was more activity.

At least two Eurasian curlew were there but there were flighty.  This was another first for me in Saudi Arabia.

bar-tailed godwit

Much less flighty was a bar-tailed godwit which allowed close view as it was so busy feeding. This was yet another first.

great crested grebe

Although the number of birds was less than we might have expected the types exceeded my expectations. Swimming in the high tide water was a single great crested grebe. Once again another first for Saudi Arabia. So this shortish stop at a seemingly minor part of the coast provided 3 out of the 10 additions to my Saudi list which increased from 228 to 238 during the trip as a whole.

Western reef heron

In the immediate urban area we also saw house crow, red-vented bulbul and house sparrow.  It is quite remarkable that we didn't see a single white eared bulbul all weekend as this is the most common bulbul in the east of the country.

House crow

The rest of the birding day was spent along the coast at Dammam in a variety of habitat including mangroves and mud flats. It turned out to be a very rewarding day as I will show in the next blog.


  1. The Curlew was common near the port (a group of more than 20), also in the coast of Jubail and Dammam ,it was not careful, I could approach it until 10 meters ,On the contrary last June in Yanbu, where it was flying directly away once seen me.

  2. Mansur, I actually saw 80 later on in the day at the port mangroves along with a small number of whimbrel.its in tomorrows blog. They were very approachable too.