22 Jul 2016

Arabian Wheatear – Taif

Whilst birding the Taif area recently I saw plenty of Arabian Wheatears at many different sites including Wadi Grosbeak, Wadi Thee Gazelle and Wadi Waj. The Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides is a rather scarce resident of the south-west highlands, but is also found in Oman, Palestine and Yemen, mainly in rocky, bushy sites but is widespread on the Jebal Souda plateau, Wadi Tale’a, Pipeline Road, near Farshah, Gara’a and Tanoumah as well as the Taif area. In 1987 it was recorded more frequently than present so the species may have declined slightly, with disturbance not thought likely to be the reason as it is often associated with gardens and regularly breeds near human sites. They nest in holes in terrace walls and feed largely on insects. They are common in the upper reaches of the Raghadan Forest and the upper parts of the Golden Tulip valley in Baha.
Arabian Wheatear

Arabian Wheatear

Arabian Wheatear
 
Arabian Wheatear

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