Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Flooding Continues in Riyadh

Back down to Al Hayer again this weekend (16/4/16) to visit my friends and perhaps see a few new ones along the way.  Unfortunately the are was pretty badly flooded and what was a normal walk across the edges of the fields was a knee deep trudge through the sodden area.  Many of the birds had the same experience as I did and took off to somewhere else for the day.  That said, Al Hayer never fails to turn up something interesting;
This little bird I have not seen around here for quite some time but it spent a little time in my company today and was a joy to watch.  The Rufous Tailed Scrub Robin is supposed to be a fairly common visitor the the whole of Saudi Arabia, but I have not seen one at all in the area for over 2 years.  Maybe looking in the wrong place. 
 Its cousin the Black Scrub Robin is a much more common sight around this early being pretty much resident all year round.  I normally see one or two about on almost every visit to the area.  This week however there were 8 or more around.
 Also in evidence everywhere today were the Willow Warbler which were in most bushes and trees.  Very active little visitors to the area.

 As always the Laughing Dove were about in great numbers.  These are very pretty little birds and they were joined by small numbers of their cousins the European Collared Dove and Rock / Feral Pigeon.  These are a delight to see but can be a pain for the birder as they flush with so much racket that they scare off everything in the place.  Still I guess if I saw some odd thing pointing a largish black thing at me I would scatter too.
 There were quite a number of Purple Heron about the place today both overhead and in the trees.  I rarely come here without seeing them and did see some young ones two years ago, though not this year so far.  Some of these says I'll come across the place they have selected to breed.
 Back in force this week are the Streaked Weavers who definitely are breeding in the area.  Its odd but I find their nests very difficult to find until after they have left them when the materials they use to weave them dries out and turns white.
Males are much easier to spot than the females as they have that bright yellow head but both have bright yellow in their plumage.

 As ever the Crested Larks were about in good numbers, you get to see a dozen or so every trip but hear far more as they have a very distinctive song.
 The House Sparrow is usually seen a lot closer to human habitation but there were quite a lot out in the fields today.
They were also quite happy to spend time in the same bushes and trees as their close cousin the Spanish Sparrow.
 As always the Graceful Prinia were putting on their very vocal performances for anyone who wanted to listen.
 I only saw one Namaqua Dove today, I think they may have moved off for a while to avoid the flooding.
 There was, however, a small flock of maybe 10 to 15 Indian Silverbills around, as I mentioned before I hardly saw any of these last year so they are making a welcome return.

 The Common Myna are usually about in small flocks of 5 or 6 birds, but today there was just the one!

Another solo visitor was this Little Egret, fishing in the flooded field.

A couple of Grey Heron flew over early in the morning but I only got a distant shot and did not see them land at all.  In addition there were a dozen or so Bar Swallows feeding in the fields.
I spent a little less time than usual on this trip as to be honest the temperatures have gone up dramatically plus a few hours wading through sodden areas and soaked fields is bloody exhausting when its 40 degrees.  Still a nice little collection of birds.  As I said at the start, this area never fails. 

©Bernard Bracken.

No comments:

Post a Comment