Sunday 9 February 2014

The spring passage has begun

On Friday morning, I went birding north of Riyadh towards the Buwaiq escarpment. My plan was to look  particularly for two larks which have evaded me so far in Saudi Arabia. I'll tell you know I got on in the next blog.

However before just before I reached the area near the escarpment, I came across a small rubbish dump with a dead animal and lots vegetable and other waste.

There was plenty of bird activity there and it well worth the stop to investigate.

two barn swallow

Twenty or so, barn swallow were hawking the air for flies and then resting. Along with week before's sighting of pallid swift and the odd barn swallow, this is a sure sign the passage has truly begun. 

four of many barn swallow

Alongside the barn swallow were their distant cousins and resident birds: pale crag martin. I checked hard to make sure there were no migrant European crag martin as well.

three pale crag martin

Two wintering white wagtail were also feasting on the flies.

white wagtail

Three local house sparrow were well out numbered by the intruders in their local spot.

house sparrow

I took the opportunity to walk wider around the area before I moved on.

desert wheatear

One each of three types of wheatear were seen in adjacent areas. There was a desert wheatear, Isabelline wheatear and Eastern mourning wheatear.
All three will leave to go north soon.

Isabelline wheatear

As I finally headed towards the plains just below escarpment where I would look for larks, I spied a steppe eagle over head. 

steppe eagle

This was good start to my birding day. What followed left me very happy and with another addition to my Saudi list.

No comments:

Post a Comment