31 Mar 2016

Black-winged Kite near Tabuk – Bird records by Viv Wilson

Whilst birding in the Tabuk area on 25 March 2106 Viv Wilson found a Black-winged Kite. This is a scarce visitor to the country that appears to be coming more common in recent years with birds seen in every month with the exception of January, August and December. In the north of the Kingdom birds have been seen as follows: An adult was at Wadi Rabigh 24 May 2013, one west Tayma 13 November 2015 and one near Tabuk 25 March 2016 with one in the Riyadh area at Al Hayer early October 2015 with two until 18 October 2015 at least. In the Eastern Province one Elanus caeruleus vociferous at Dhahran Saudi Aramco Camp spray fields 29 March to 17 April 2012, one adult Elanus caeruleus vociferous Dhahran Saudi Aramco Camp spray fields 20 April 2014 and one Elanus caeruleus vociferous Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm, Fadhili, near Jubail 4 September. All birds sub-specifically identified in the north and east of the Kingdom were of the eastern subspecies Elanus caeruleus vociferous as they had very dark under-wing markings on the secondaries a subspecies that occurs from Pakistan east to southern & eastern China, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula. In the Southwest of the Kingdom the status is not clear although they are probably an erratic visitor from Africa and has occurred as far north as Jeddah and Taif. Birds from this area include one Farasan Islands April & June 1988, one on a telegraph wire near Wadi Shahdan 3 September 1991, one over a maize field near Malaki Dam 9 February 1992, an adult NE Jizan 24 July 2001, one at Malaki Dam Lake on 6 May 2002 and 7 May 2002, one near Shuqayri, 11 July 2010 and one Malaki Dam Lake 3 Sep 2015 Elanus caeruleus caeruleus the first confirmed record of this African subspecies for the Kingdom, although all previous SW records were assumed to have been this race. Elanus caeruleus caeruleus occurs in the southwest Iberian Peninsula, most of Africa and Southwest Arabia. I thank Viv Wilson for kindly allowing me to use his photos on my website which are shown below.
Black-winged Kite

Black-winged Kite

Black-winged Kite

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