Sunday 6 October 2013

Whirlwind look at Khobar

As part of our full day trip to the Eastern Province, Bernard Bracken and I made a whirlwind tour of the south corniche at Khobar. Time was necessarily short as places identified from historic records on the ebird database outside the town were still to be visited.  

western reef heron (dark morph)

Western reef heron and grey heron were two of the largest birds there and which would have been immediately obvious even to non-birders. There are two lakes barely 50 metres inland at the corniche and most of the herons were there.

common tern

There were several small groups of common tern next to the lakes too. 

lesser crested tern

Out to sea, a single lesser crested tern was sitting on a buoy.

Kentish plover

Meanwhile back at the lakes there was a good opportunity to compare the different types of small plovers at one place. Kentish plover was the most common.

Common ringed plover

Only a metre or two away from some of them were common ringed plover.

lesser sand plover

A solitary winter plumage lesser sand plover walked straight in front of some Kentish plover at one point.

common greenshank

Strangely I don't recall seeing any little stint or other small waders other than these plovers. However we were racing through the town and I may have missed them. Instead six or so common greenshank were picked up and several ruff were also seen.

Socotra cormorant (mostly juveniles) and a grey heron

Looking seaward there were many slender-billed gull in the water along with a single Caspian gull. Socotra cormorant were also highly visible. Many were first year birds. These can be easily separated from young great cormorant by the white fringes to the wing coverts. Looking at the head and bill isn't so effective as with adult birds!

After this quick-step look at Khobar we travelled south to Half Moon Bay in search of my main target bird for the day. I'll report in the next blog how we got on.

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