Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The demise of the farm

The autumn passage at the farm on the way to work seems to have dried up. In the past two days, a single female flava-type yellow wagtail has been the only new migrant and I have searched thoroughly.  I am not, of course, implying its over here or elsewhere.

yellow wagtail

This coincides with some upsetting news. Over the past few days three of the large trees have been cut down and it has become apparent that the farm is being run down. I should have guessed previously when the bee-research centre on the site closed over the summer.  

There is major construction all around the farm and it looks like the urban farm is now part of it. 

little green bee-eater on the farm

The parakeets were the first birds to leave. They need tall trees. Meanwhile others are seemingly oblivious to the change. The little green bee-eater are still here but its the only place in urban Riyadh that I recall seeing them though they may be present in the diplomatic quarter.

black bush robin taking a dust bath

With a lack of migrants I have had less to amuse me during the walk although seeing a black bush robin take an early morning dust bath was cheery.

black bush robin continuing the bath

With less birding in the week, I have spent much of this freed up time updating my information on ebird. Today I became completely up to date. 

black bush robin splashing dust

All my birding records: bird, numbers, dates and locations are in the public domain.  

The last ten additions to my Saudi list on ebird

I hope it will help fellow birders and I wish others would do it too. Between us we could redraw all the distribution maps more accurately as well as making life easier for each other.

The data that a couple of other people have put on-line has given me some useful leads which I hope to follow up over the next few months.  

I am going to follow one up this weekend when I visit the eastern province. 

Another consequence of finishing my ebird input is that I realise that I miscounted the length of my Saudi list. It's actually 305 not 300! 

However, there are plenty more to find. 

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