19 Jul 2015

No Arabian Golden-winged Grobeaks again - Al Atta

Whilst birding in the Taif area for the weekend of 3-4 Junly 2015 Phil Roberts and I went to Al Atta. The location is basically a set of fields where roses are grown with a few overhead power lines where the Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeaks were seen perched previously. There is also a wooded valley with relatively steep sides and tracks running up both sides. Despite spending many hours here we did not see or hear the Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeaks and to be truthful the site does not look too promising with much better looking areas nearby. This location is a good birding site with plenty of Arabian Wheatears and Yemen Linnets. Philby’s Partridge was heard and plenty of Tristram’s Starlings were flying around calling. Other good birds seen included a single Brown Woodland Warbler, Arabian Warbler, Little Rock Thrushes, Long-billed Pipits, Red-rumped Swallows, Pale Crag Martins, Little Swifts and Palestine Sunbirds. Although we did not see the Grosbeaks birding here was much more pleasant than when I came previously in January 2015 when the low cloud made birding extremely difficult. At least this time the sun was shining and you could see more than a few metres so birds could be seen and located. A dark phase Long-legged Buzzard was also seen on the way to the site just after Bani Saad.
Arabian Wheatear
Arabian Wheatear
Arabian Wheatear
Arabian Wheatear
Gambaga Flycatcher
Gambaga Flycatcher
Little Swift
Little Swift
Little Swift
Little Swift
Little Swift
Little Swift
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Long-legged Buzzard - dark phase
Long-legged Buzzard - dark phase

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