19 Aug 2017

Spur-winged Lapwing breeding? – Jubail

Whilst biding the Jubail area in early August 2017 I saw two Spur-winged Lapwing again in the same place where they have been present since April. The behaviour of the birds being very vocal and calling in flight as was the case the last time I saw it suggests the bird are breeding. Despite searching for young birds none were found so confirmation of breeding will have to wait a little while longer. The species has not been proved to breed in the Eastern Province yet but hopefully this will change if when we see the young of this pair.
Spur-winged Lapwing

18 Aug 2017

Graceful Prinia breeding in Bahrain – Record by Jehad Alamaddi

Graceful Prinia is a very common resident breeder in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, mainly around the edges of the main reed beds. They are not so easy to photograph though as they are fast moving so Jehad has dne well to get good photos of some juveniles from Bahrain. They nest in low tamarisk as well as reed beds and singing has been heard as early as February with the species becoming common in the summer months. They presumably have at least two broods as I have trapped and ringed a female with a brood patch on 27 March, Phil has photographed nestlings in a nest on 2 May and Jehad’s Juveniles are from the end of June. The subspecies occurring is P. g. hufufae from north-east Saudi Arabia and eastern areas of the Arabian Peninsula, including Bahrain, south to Oman as they had a broad, sharply defined black band on tail-tips about 6 mm wide with a narrow white tip and paler upperparts than in P. g. palaestinae. I thank Jehad for sending me the photos and for kindly allowing me to use them on my website.
Graceful Prinia

Graceful Prinia

Graceful Prinia

17 Aug 2017

Some southwest specialities – Phil’s Fields

I visited Phil’s Fields three times in July 2017 and saw a lot of good birds in the area. Some of the birds seen were summer visitors from Africa and others specialities of the southwest of the Kingdom. The area is a set of three large pivot irrigation fields and surrounding trees edging the fields and scrubby land to the side. The pivot irrigation equipment is always good for birds to perch on when they are disturbed from the fields and this visit I saw a large flock of Indian Silverbills, twenty Western Cattle Egrets and a couple of Arabian Babblers. The fields are the best place I know of for seeing both Zitting Cisticola and Singing Bush Lark but is also good for White-throated Bee-eater and White-spectacled Bulbul. Other birds seen included House Sparrow and a fly over Yellow-billed Kite. This site is an excellent birding location and one I visit every time I am in the area and it always turns up good birds.
African Silverbill
African Silverbill
African Silverbill
African Silverbill
African Silverbill
African Silverbill
Arabian Babbler
Arabian Babbler
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Western Cattle Egret
Western Cattle Egret
White-spectacled Bulbul
White-spectacled Bulbul
White-throated Bee-eater
White-throated Bee-eater
Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite
Zitting Costicola
Zitting Costicola

16 Aug 2017

Hamadryas Baboon Raydah Escarpment near Abha – Record by Munzir Khan

Munzir saw Hamadryas Baboon Papio hamadryas whilst birding the Raydah Escarpment near Abha. This is a very good place the see the species with large troops somwtimes present. This species is the northernmost of all the baboons and is distinguished from other baboons by the male’s long, silver-grey shoulder cape (mane and mantle), and the pink or red rather than black face and rump. The male is considerably larger than the female, often twice as large, and has a heavy silvery-grey coat, bushy cheeks, and large canine teeth. Males may have a body measurement of up to 80 cm and weigh 20–30 kg. They occur in north-eastern Africa, mainly in Ethiopia, but also eastern Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and northern Somalia as well as the Arabian Peninsula, in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. I thank Munzir for sending me his photo and for allowing me to use it on my website.
Hamadryas Baboon

15 Aug 2017

Egyptian Nightjars in the open - Jubail


The Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius that are again spending the summer in Jubail are still around in good numbers with eight seen at various places around the site in mid-August. The Egyptian Nightjar is an uncommon bird in Saudi Arabia but birds are regular in the Jubail area in the summer. The birds are normally seen sitting in the shade under small bushes but some of the ones we saw were alongside a track and out in the open allowing for some good photos to be taken. The photos below were of a three different birds. This year birds have been seen all over Jubail in many areas where I had not seen them before. As I do not want to disturb the birds I have not got a clear idea of numbers this year but there are at least 13 present and probably many more.
Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar