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Birding at Abha dam

The tourist season in Abha has started. Since Eidh, more and more cars are on the roads, the traffic become heavier every day.

This morning at 7:00, there was already relatively quite a lot of traffic on the road, for a friday morning, which have so far been quiet.

The carpark for the small hotel next to the dam lake park was full.14q

Nothing very particular this morning at Abha dam, except a.Great Reed Warbler, and 2 Marsh Warbler, which were 2 new species for my Saudi Arabia life list.

I observed an interesting behaviour for the Hamerkop, a regular visitor at the lake. The bird was fishing in flight, flying 1 meter above the surface, making deep and sudden U-turn to attempt catching fishes from the surface. It eventually caught a big one , and went to eat it on the shore.

A small group of red-rumped swallow was present. I am not yet clear if these birds are migrant in stopover, or if it can be migrant breeders, that will breed in the area.

Ruppel's weaver were very active, with more females seen than in previous weeks. Ruppell' s weaver disappeared in winter, and males come back in early spring, building their nests. Females arrive later.

Red-knobbed coot were still present, with at least 3 individuals. Still no evidence, they might be breeding. Eurasian coot did, and 1 pair already have at leat 1 chick several weeks old.

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