22 Apr 2019

Last of the wintering Bluethroats - Haradh

Whilst birding the Haradh area recently we saw good numbers Bluethroats. There were calling from an area of long grass in a partly cut pivot field and consisted mainly of Red-spotted Bluethroats but two White-spotted birds were also seen. There were double figures seen which is a good number of a non-wetland area and were probably the last wintering birds being joined by migrants on their way to their breeding grounds. They are really beautiful birds but not so easy to get good photos of as they seldom allow close approach. Other birds seen in the fields nearby were Namaqua Dove and Water Pipit.
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Water Pipit
Water Pipit
Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

20 Apr 2019

Winter Birds - Tabuk

Whilst birding the Tabuk area recently I saw a few good winter species such as Montagues Harrier. It was the commonest harrier although both Pallid and Marsh Harrier were also seen. Several Long-legged Buzzard were also around the large fields. Three Cream-coloured Coursers were seen along the edge of a large pivot irrigation field but trying to obtain good photos proved extremely difficult. Other birds seen commonly were Crested Lark and Eurasian Hoopoe.
Cream Coloured Courser
Cream-coloured Courser
Crested Lark
Crested Lark 
Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Montagu's Harrier
Montagu's Harrier

18 Apr 2019

Flocks of Spanish Sparrows - Haradh

Whilst birding the Haradh area I came across several large flocks of Spanish Sparrows. This is a common resident of northern and western parts of the Kingdom with numbers increasing in the winter months. They are not so common in the area where I live in the east of the Kingdom but numbers are increasing. The Haradh area is probably the best place to see them in the Eastern Province with the birds shown here flocking in their hundreds in newly cut pivot irrigation fields, particularly liking the longer grown to the side of the main irrigation equipment.
Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

16 Apr 2019

Western Siberian Stonechat - Tabuk

Whilst birding the Tabuk area I came across a few Western Siberian Stonechat. The birds were looked at closely and there did not appear to be any white extending down the tail feathers. The rump was also unstreaked. They were almost always seen in tall scrub at the side of large pivot irrigation fields. The species in an uncommon wintering species throughout the north and east of the Kingdom with numbers varying each year. Sometimes they are seen regularly but in other years only a handful are recorded.
Western Siberian Stonechat

Western Siberian Stonechat

Western Siberian Stonechat

14 Apr 2019

Resident species – Talea Valley

Whilst birding the Talea valley near Abha in the southwest mountains I took the below photos of a few resident species. Arabian Serin is a common species in the Acacia scrub in the valley bottom with Cinnamon-breasted Bunting being common in summer but absent in mid-winter, where it presumably moves to lower elevations where the temperature will; be milder. Genuine Rock Dove is not so easy to see with feral pigeon being a cause of lack of good birds. The bird shown here looks good for a genuine bird and was in good habitat. Long-legged Buzzard in the southwest appear to be aminly dark morph birds whereas those seen in the Eastern Province where I live are the pale morph ones. Other birds seen were House Sparrow, which are a different subspecies to those I see in the east of the Kingdom and Streaked Scrub Warbler.
Arabian Serin
Arabian Serin
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting 
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Rock Dove
Rock Dove 
Streaked Scrub Warbler
Streaked Scrub Warbler