31 Jul 2015

Arabian Partridge – Al Mehfar Park

Whilst looking for Philby’s Partridge at Al Mehfar Park, Tanoumah, Phil spotted an unusual Partridge with a pale throat. It was a long way away on a hill top and looked superficially like a Chukar a bird that occrs much further north in the Kingdom near Tabuk but a species neither Phil nor I had seen. Philby’s Partridge has a black chin, cheeks and throat that differentiate it from all other members of genus, including Arabian Partridge which is mainly found at lower elevations. Philby’s Partridge also has a bright red bill and facial skin and rose-red legs and is otherwise very similar to Chukar including the presence of rufous in tail. Juvenile birds are overall dull brown, initially lacking face pattern that then appears as dusky, not black, with finely barred upperparts and duller legs. As a result the bird turned out to be an Arabian Partridge rather than a Chukar. Arabian Partridge occurs in arid rocky areas in montane regions and occurs on slopes with less bush cover than Philby's Partridge. 
Arabian Partridge

Arabian Partridge

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