Sunday, 14 October 2012

The potential of Wadi Dawasir

My regular birding partner, Lou Regensmorter visited the oasis of Wadi Dawasir on business last weekend.

Wadi Dawasir is a farming district in the middle of desert. Its 450 kilometres south west of Riyadh and 450 kilometres north east of Nejran. In between is virtually nothing but sand and rock.

distant view of white stork in a field

What he saw was very interesting. In one field were 20 white stork grazing. He only had a point and shoot camera with him but managed to take the photo you see above.

cropped look at white stork in a field

I have cropped and enlarged part of the photo to show you the white stork better.

When Lou told me what he saw it immediately reminded me of the pioneering work of Jens Hering when I was in Libya. Jens had found that all the  government desert farms in the south of Libya had wintering white stork in very large numbers while the farms in the north did not.

However this was the tip of the iceberg. I saw four common crane at one southern Libyan desert farm and Jens has seen much larger numbers and a great diversity of species. Several of the species seen normally winter south of the Sahara. 

If Wadi Dawasir follows the same pattern it could have a unique birding life in KSA.

satellite view of part of Wadi Dawasir by Eovision 

The reason is simple. Its a huge green area by the standards of anywhere in KSA never mind the dry south.  

Lou managed to snatch a few more minutes for birding and came across three black birds of prey with distinctive white marking which we believe were probably Verreaux's eagle but it isn't claimable for sure. 

Wadi Dawasir has just joined my very short list of places to visit in KSA.

No comments:

Post a Comment