- Wintering Birds in Northern Saudi Arabia: February 2009 (2009)
- The northern plains of Saudi Arabia are an area of approximately 231,000 km2, or roughly equivalent to the size of the whole of the United Kingdom. During previous ABBA Surveys in this area in late winter and spring significant numbers of wintering species such as Dotterel Charadrius morinellus, sandgrouse Pterocles sps and eagles and vultures have been recorded, as well as the threatened Sociable Plover Vanellus gregarius. The main objective of ABBA Survey 40 (30 January - 28 February 2009) was to assess wintering populations of these birds in northern Arabia through sampling methods. In all 21 timed walked censuses in the early morning and 25 driven transect counts (over a total distance of 1511 km) were carried out. Unfortunately most of the region had suffered a severe drought over an extended period, perhaps the previous ten years or longer, and in most of the survey area there had been no rain at all during the winter/spring period of 2008/2009. This lack of rain had resulted in a complete lack of green vegetation in most of the western part of the area studied. Consequently the census results showed low species diversity and small populations.