Monday 17 December 2012

South of Dilam

Dilam is the furthest south farming district in central Arabia before the "empty quarter" starts.

After visiting Kharj, Lou Regensmorter and I travelled further south to see if there was any change in the birds.

Desert wheatear

In fact the changes in the type of birds on the pivot fields are only very subtle compared with those in Al Hayer some 80 kilometres further north. I suppose the distance just isn't big enough to make a difference.

The most obvious birds were white wagtail which were seen on virtually all fields of whatever height. Ironically there was no sign of any yellow wagtail which I have seen wintering in small numbers in Kharj last year.

Tawny pipit

Around the edges of the fields and on the paths through them were a scattering of desert wheatear and tawny pipit.

Namaqua dove

Namaqua dove and little green bee-eater were plentiful. If there were palms or Tamarisk next to the fields then collared dove and laughing dove were plentiful too.

Little green bee-eater
One hoopoe was seen.


A single Aucheri shrike and a single Daurian shrike were observed too.

By the way, in keeping with recent research pallidirostris/steppe grey shrike and aucheri/southern grey shrike will now be called pallidirostris/Asian grey shrike and Aucheri/Asian grey shrike in my blog in line with Dutch birding's nomenclature.

Asian grey shrike Aucheri

So what were the subtle differences in the birds compared with Al Hayer?  First was the population of long legged buzzard. They are much more common in Dilam and south of there.

white wagtail

Second was the increased number of wintering Isabelline wheatear.

long legged buzzard

Otherwise it was long way to go for such a small change!  Wadi Dawasir is the next large community down route 10 a long way past Dilam. Its a further 500 kilometres and this is worth a visit.

unknown type of fox

However a visit to Jizan is coming first.

List of birds seen in the Kharj and Dilam areas complied by Lou Regensmorter

Little Grebe
Little Green Bee-eater
Grey Heron
Daurian Shrike
Marsh Harrier
White-eared Bulbul
Long Legged Buzzard
Crested Lark
Pale Crag Martin
Graceful Prinia
Common Snipe
Green Sandpiper
Desert Lesser Whitethroat
Common Sandpiper
Black Bush Robin
Black Redstart
Black-winged Stilt
Isabelline Wheatear
Marsh Sandpiper
Desert Wheatear
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Eastern Mourning Wheatear
Rock Pigeon
House Sparrow
Eurasian Collared Dove
Spanish Sparrow
Laughing Dove
Indian Silverbill
Namaqua Dove
White Wagtail
Pallid Swift
Tawny Pipit

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