19 Jan 2015

Looking for Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak – Haraar

Last Friday Phil Roberts and I went to the Taif area of Saudi Arabia in the hope of locating Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak, the last remaining unseen Arabian regional endemic for us both in Saudi Arabia. Lou Regenmorter had seen birds in this area last year and Brian James had seen them in the same area a few years earlier. This thus sounded like a prime site for seeing the species so we arrived at the location about 120 kilometres out of Taif on the way to Bahah just before first light. Unfortunately the weather was against us and there was low cloud, and strong wind making birding decidedly difficult. We spent the whole day at the loactio walking up and down the mountains and around the tracks and roads looking intently for the target species as well as anything else we may see. After the entire day in the field we had only seen 16 species of bird but did locate a few good ones but not the Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak. The best birds we saw were a group of eight Philby’s Partridges, one of the twelve regional endemics with plenty of Arabian Wheatears and Yemen Linnets two more regional endemics.. Other birds seen included plenty of Palestine Snbirds, several Brown Woodland Warblers, Common Kestrel, Abyssinian White-eyes and Tristram’s Starlings. Other species seen included House Sparrows, Song Thrushes, Laughing Doves and White-spectacled Bulbuls, Scrub Warblers.
Palestine Sunbird
Palestine Sunbird
Abyssinian White-eye
Abyssinian White-eye
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel

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