The most interesting finding was the snipe above. It behaved a little like a jack snipe. It was flushed very close and flew only a short distance before crouching down and sitting still before flying on approach to 7 metres. However I asked BirdForum to identify it. Despite its short bill, the general opinion is that it couldn't be a jack snipe because of its pale central crown stripe. It doesn't really fit anything well but it should be some sort of Gallinago.
mallard in flight
The number of chiffchaff keeps building all winter particularly in the tamarisk by the water.
white eared bulbul
In the pivot fields the northern lapwing numbers have also grown since the last time I visited. There are now nearly as many that stayed around the 12 pivot fields all last winter.
They are highly mobile and easily spooked.
Otherwise, the fields themselves weren't very interesting, at least for small birds (I'll write about birds of prey in a later blog).
Desert wheatear like being at the edge of the crop fields and on the paths to the middle of the pivots.
I still have had trouble telling some female and juvenile red tailed shrike. Despite the rufous at the front of the head of this bird, overall it looks like a Daurian shrike to me. It not that I don't get much practice because there are many tens here in winter.
Most of the stonechat here in winter are from one of the eastern sub-species. There are plenty around too. This is again contrary to the map in the Helms guide which doesn't have the bird here at all. It's mostly a case of under-reporting in KSA, I suppose.
little green bee-eater
I am running behind with my blogs. I have got plenty to write about from three parts of the kingdom. I'll try to find time to catch up!