Monday, 25 April 2016

Return to the home patch

Returned to Saudi Arabia in early April and headed to my home patch at Al Hayer (9/4/16) to see what had been happening.  Obviously the first thing you notice is the change in temperature which was quite a few degrees warmer than when I left at the end of February.  There had also been quite a bit of rain in the preceding weeks so large areas of the fields and surrounding areas were badly flooded.  Still it proved to be an interesting day nonetheless even if I did end up knee deep in water at times.
I am not sure if this is a male feeding a female trying to win her heart or a parent feeding a younger bird.  However,
looking at the pair of them together on the branch I think it is a pair of adults.  I expect I will be corrected if I got that wrong.

The Streaked Weavers are about in large numbers and are starting to nest in the reeds.
It may be just my imagination but there definitely appears to be far more females to males in the area.  I wonder if there is any real basis for this view, will watch that a bit more closely.

Also about in large numbers are the House and Spanish Sparrows who are also breeding in the trees around the area.  Standing by one particular tree I could hear the young in the nests.
I haven't seen that many Indian Silverbills about for quite some time and this week there were only a few.
I did not manage to see any Grey Heron on the ground but there were a good number flying over.
As always the Graceful Prinia were in fine voice around the area.  These are one of those birds that you hear a lot more than you see.  But there were a good number of them about the place.
A surprise visitor to the area was the Pied Kingfisher.  There has been one of these about the place for the past month or so, I'm not sure if its the same one but hopefully it will stay the area, though it would be very welcome.
Another surprise sighting was the Red Avadavat.  I had not seen a female about before, its generally the males I notice in Autumn.
Another two regulars about the place are the Laughing Dove and White Eared Bulbul.  Lots and lots of these about.
The Black Scrub Robin were not about in great numbers, that said there were a few more than usual.

A visitor from distant climes was the Yellow Wagtail.  Thee were 6 or 7 of these feeding on seeds in the low scrub.  I am guessing these had only just arrived because they were so intent on feeding that they hardly noticed me at all.
There were a good few Purple Heron about but most were flying over.  This one stopped on the sprinkler arm for a while before flying off.

This little chap was feeding in the scrub by the side of the fields.  I'm not great on Warbler ID but I am reasonably sure its a lovely Willow Warbler.
Squacco Herons were in the grass by the flooded areas and not very helpful to the poor birder trying to get a photo, still eventually managed to get this.
Also got treated to a flyover from a pair of Black Winged Stilt which are always around in small numbers here.
Then a catch of the day for me.  I had not had a good view of a Redstart, previous ones were only quick views as they disappeared into the trees.  Was delighted by this.

Finally I spotted a couple of Pipits in the stubble of the upper field, I have been through the books a good bit trying to work out which one and I think its a Meadow Pipit.
Other birds seen were a small number of Barn Swallows and Feral Pigeon/Rock Dove out in the fields.  A great day out and nice return outing.

No comments:

Post a Comment