Category: How to get to site


Jasra village - daytime Hypocolius site

Permalink 09:34:50 am, Categories: How to get to site  

Grey Hypocolius have always been historically difficult to find during the day so with the demise of the Saar roost the finding of a day time flocking area in Jasra with easy access has to be regarded a real bonus. The birds follow the fruit during the day so this difficulty is not a surprise to us resident birders as we have seen the northern agricultural areas stripped of their native fruiting trees to be replaced with villas and housing compounds. (these photos will be replaced once the sun comes back and it stops raining)
Grey Hypocolius
Bahrain has over fifty different types of Date Palm tree, the date being one of the birds favourite fruits, not many palm species however bear fruit in the winter and those that do are not so popular with farmers these days as this fruit is often only suitable for feeding to animals. Palm trees can be either male or female but only the female tree produces fruit. Since a palm that is grown from seed generally tend to be male, farmers propagate female trees from existing female trees by encouraging sucklings to grow from the base of a mature tree. Since nobody wants non-edible dates the number of species being cloned has declined which means that within new developments only summer edible fruiting species are likely to be found. Other native fruiting trees are also in decline as they are not popular in the house gardens that have been built over old agricultural areas; they are very slow growing, tend to have a large spreading thorn covered heads plus they cause a mess when the fruit drops.

It is probably a combination of loss of fruiting trees and increased development more than anything else in the northern corner of Bahrain that has caused the decline of Hypocolius attracted to using the Old Saar Roost. The area no longer supports a large day time feeding population.

Around Jasra however, agricultural holdings are intact, remain more traditional and are complemented by several large private estates that have a large number of native fruiting trees. In other agricultural areas such as Hamalah, Janabiyah and Zallaq similar areas also still exist and each could well contain their own population of wintering Hypocolius. Behind the now destroyed Janabiyah marsh I found in the 90’s a similar day time flocking area but since Janabiyah marsh was cleared, where these birds now flock to during the day has proved impossible to locate. The locating of this new site in Jasra village has to be regarded therefore as fortuitous.

To find the Jasra site drive along the Saudi causeway road take the last Bahrain exit, at the top of the rank turn left over the bridge and turn immediately right to Jasra village at the traffic lights. Drive through the village past the Mosque on the left and the Craft Center on the right at the second small roundabout turn left the garden in question is right on the corner on the right. It currently has a white board fence about it. Access into the garden is not really necessary as the birds can be seen moving around in the trees right next to the road. They can also often be seen right along side the road in the gardens of the houses in the village in fact the place is currently a Hypocolius heaven. The Birds are currently present from just after sunrise till around 3.30pm
Google Earth Image (



New Roost

Permalink 06:55:25 pm, Categories: How to get to site  

A new Morning roosting area has been discovered near Jasra Village over 100 birds were seen this weekend further details will be added along with a google earth image once the integrity of this site has been established



28 October 2007

Permalink 06:40:40 am, Categories: How to get to site  

A solitary Hypocolius the first of the season was observed last night at the Saar Roost despite the integrity of the site continuing to be eroded; rubbish of all kinds from garden waste to building detritus from the surrounding houses and developments continues to be dumped.



2007/2008 season

Permalink 12:58:39 pm, Categories: How to get to site  

The Hypocolius should start their return this coming week - we shall be checking all potential sites including what remains of Saar - once we have our first observations we shall update the posts and email the networks. Look forward to posting good news in the next few days.

Howard King



End of Season

Permalink 09:30:34, Categories: How to get to site  

Visits to the Saar Roost this week indicated that the season for Hypocolius is all but over - only a single rather nervous male was present this week. So it seems that the end of March most probablly represents the terminal date for wintering Hypocolius in Bahrain


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