15 Nov 2017

Yellow-browed Warbler – Tabuk

Whilst birding the pivot irrigation fields of Tabuk on 8 October Phil Roberts and I found a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus. This is a vagrant to Saudi Arabia with only five previous records. Two Jubail - birds stayed three and six weeks February to April. One 60 kilometres south of Haql 17 October 2013 and One Yanbu Dump 25 October 2013. The identification as aYellow-browed Warbler rather than a Hume’s Warbler were as follows:
There was an obvious long and strong supercilium.
Supercillium was whitish with obvious yellow in it.
The eyestripe was obvious across the lores.
Mottled ear-coverts.
The throat is also creamy white and contrasts with the rest of the sullied white underparts.
Two obvious pale yellowish wing-bars with obvious white tips to tertials giving a strong pattern to the wing.
A slight paler area on the top of the crown forming a very indistinct stripe.
Overall, the bird was greenish brown coloured, lacking the grey associated with Hume’s Warbler.
The bird did, however, have dark legs and a black bill, features of Hume’s Warbler.

The bird was actively feeding along a row of small plants and shrubs along the edge of a large pivot irrigation field and continually returned to the same small area to feed. It was very active but was not heard to call in the over one hour of viewing. Initially it was seen in flight when a small dark warbler flew out of the scrub in front of us. I mentioned it could be a Yellow-browed Warbler and when it reappeared and we got good views this is what it turned out to be. This is the first time either of us had recorded the species in Saudi Arabia.The similar looking Hume's Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus humei has only a single record in Saudi Arabia in November, south of Salwa but no details can be found.
Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

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