So this morning I made the same detour as I had during the spring on my walk to and from work. This detour takes me to the small university experimental farm.
female or immature common whitethroat
The early morning on the way out was hot. The afternoon walk on the way back was scorching.
Luckily there were some passage birds! The first one I saw this morning was a female or immature common whitethroat.
second view of common whitethroat
It was quite active and gave me the run around before I finally got some decent photographs.
clear view of common whitethroat
In the evening, I saw a male common whitethroat in another part of the farm's garden. He was reluctant to move at all. I put this difference in behaviour down to difference in temperature between early morning and mid-afternoon.
male common whitethroat
Also in the afternoon I managed to get a good look at the shrike I had glimpsed in the morning. It was a woodchat shrike. Well, actually I discovered there were two. Given how thin they both looked I think they have been extremely lucky to seek out this place.
There has been some drilling for water next to the farm during the summer. I don't know why but some of the water at least is being pumped up occasionally into a small make-shift lake.
Today it housed a single green sandpiper both in the morning and afternoon as well as more short term visits from other grateful birds including a barn swallow. I have some hopes this may attract a wide variety of birds during the whole passage season even though there is no cover.
The common whitethroat, barn swallow, green sandpiper and woodchat shrike were the full extent of passage birds seen today but the season is very young.
There were,of course, resident birds to see as well. Hoopoe was readily seen.
little green bee-eater
The only bee-eaters were the resident little green bee-eater though I expect to see both European bee-eater and blue cheeked bee-eater soon.
black bush robin
Black bush robin were around as usual but I didn't notice any rufous bush robin which is both a summer breeder and passage bird in the Riyadh area. In spring the black bush robin wouldn't tolerate any rufous bush robin and I suspect they were all moved on.
white eared bulbul
White eared bulbul numbers have increased over the summer yet didn't see any white spectacled bulbul. Both were seen in spring. Both are usually resident birds. I need to visit the farm again before I reach any conclusions.
Collared dove has also obviously had a successful breeding season. They now considerably out-number laughing dove.
Today's birding was tough due to the heat. It will get easier as the passage season progresses and I hope to be able to bird frequently on the way to walk just as I did in spring.