21 Oct 2018

Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah

Whilst birding the Tanoumah area in Mid-October 2018 we saw the amazing site of 50 Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah in the air together, many later came down and rested on the rocks before again moving southwards. These birds are almost certainly migrating down towards the Bab-el-Mandeb straight, a relatively easy and short distance crossing from Arabia to Africa where the birds will winter. The Bab-el-Mandeb is a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and is a proven flyway for many birds of prey. Tanoumah is positioned along the edge of the main escarpment of the Asir mountains and has very steep cliffs where Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus can roost and rarely breed. The species is uncommon in the Kingdom with numbers apparently declining and the southwest of the Kingdom is easily the best location for trying to locate birds. The species is an uncommon, resident breeder, in the Hejaz, Asir and the Tihama mountains of western Saudi Arabia, as well as a passage migrant. There are few records elsewhere in the Kingdom, and in the Eastern Province where I live, it is a vagrant with six records of seven birds but none have been seen in recent years. There is a small breeding colony near Riyadh. This gathering of Eurasian Griffon Vulture is easily the largest group I have seen together since I have been in Saudi Arabia with the previous largest group being thirteen. 

Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah

Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah

Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah


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