The target birds were seen and five species were added to my Saudi list. However, one of the unforeseen consequences of the trip was our encounter with sociable lapwing for the second time this winter.
three sociable lapwings
In another blog I'll report on all the birds seen there but for the moment I can tell you that while we were observing them, 35 sociable lapwing dropped in on us!
more sociable lapwings
The group split in half, 15 went on to another field near-by while precisely 20 stayed in the field being cut. They allowed us prolonged viewing helped by the fact that the water pivot was acting as cover for us.
the two halves of the flock rejoin
After about 15 minutes they flew off to rejoin the others. The picture above shows 18 of them. The two leaders weren't captured.
Our previous encounter was with 10 in Tabuk (1000 km directly north) in November. We were told this was the largest Saudi sighting for some years. Now this one was of course much larger.
IUCN map of sociable lapwing distribution