Tuesday 29 November 2011

Flashback to September - the waders

Abdullah Amrou has once again released some of his photos for the blog. This time they were taken in September and early October in Al Hayer, central Saudi Arabia. This is, of course, the main autumn passage time. I will show a selection of these photos over the next two blogs.  

Please visit Abdullah's flickr account for more birds:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/amrou_a/

Today's blog covers the waders that Abdullah photographed. The first bird is a ruff.  Tom Tarrant who birded here in the early 1990s says he saw the bird in every month except January, February, June and July. This data is consistent with it being a passage bird which doesn't stay through mid winter. It is known to winter in south west Arabia and the Oman coast. Al Hayer, Wadi Hanifah is en route to both of these places.  

ruff at Al Hayer presumed on passage

Abdullah's next two birds are apparently common on passage but evidence suggests (including my own observations) that a minority of these birds stay all winter.  These are common sandpiper and common snipe.  You may remember that Abdullah and I have seen both birds over the last ten days or so.

common sandpiper

From my own experience common snipe is only found in an exposed position like in Abdullah's photograph when it is on passage or having just arrived at its wintering grounds.

common snipe

Apart from black winged stiltlittle ringed plover is the only "wader" which is absolutely proven to currently breed along Wadi Hanifah. They have been seen all year round too and it is assumed the local breeders are resident.  

little ringed plover

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