Tuesday, 1 January 2013

White tailed lapwing (and Happy New Year)

A Happy New Year to all my readers. 2012 was a very successful year for me birding-wise. I visited the south Pacific and Japan seeing such rarities as the Tanna fruit dove.

However the main achievement has been to push up my number of Saudi species to 258. This has been achieved through hard graft and by going to many new places in the Kingdom especially Tabuk, Baha, Taif, Arar, Jizan, Jubail and Dammam.

I am particularly grateful to Lou Regensmorter and Mansur Al Fahad's company on many trips.

I am not going to review everything. I would invite people to look at past blogs.  But I want to highlight just one family, the lapwings, as a typical sign of progress.

White tailed lapwing at Lake Maliki

Until November I had only seen northern lapwing and spur winged lapwing in KSA.

When Lou and I visited Tabuk we were hopeful of seeing white tailed lapwing because local birder Viv Wilson had been seeing a couple at a Tabuk wetland all autumn. Needless to say when Viv guided us to the wetland the birds were missing. That is the way of birding sometimes.

By way of more than compensating Lou and I had seen 10 sociable lapwing in fields outside the city the day before. It was a fair swop!  This was the biggest sighting of sociable lapwing in KSA for several years.

The story doesn't end there. During last weekend's visit to Jizan, we saw a dozen or so white tailed lapwing around Lake Maliki. I finally got my bird 1000 kilometres further south of Tabuk when least expected. Indeed the Helms guide "Birds of the Middle East" map only has it in southern Yemen.

I am now only left with red wattled lapwing of the lapwings that can reasonably be expected. One for 2013?

I would like to end today's blog with the top ten list of countries from which viewers have come since the blog began.

Finally Libya has fallen down the list and UK viewers have now given the the strongest overall support since the blog begin. The other feature of note this year has been a big increase in Russian viewers taking them to fifth in the all time list.

I am grateful to them and everyone else who has visited. Wishing you a happy birding 2013.

Top ten cumulative viewers of the blog of all time by country up to end 2012

United Kingdom (+1)
Saudi Arabia (+3)
Libya (-2)
United States (-1)
Russia (+5)
Bulgaria (-1)
Germany (-1)
Morocco (-1)
Canada (-1)
France (+1)

 Top ten cumulative viewers of the blog of all time by country up to end 2011


United Kingdom

United States


Saudi Arabia






No comments:

Post a Comment