12 Aug 2012

Desert Larks - Shedgum Escarpment

A trip to the Shedgum Escarpment produced very few birds with the only species seen being White-crowned Wheatear, Desert Lark, Rock Dove and Collared Dove. It was a good trip though as I was particularly looking for White-crowned Wheatear, see earlier post, a species I had not seen in Saudi Arabia. Whilst looking for the Wheatear we saw a few Desert Larks, which is only the second time I have seen the species in Saudi Arabia as I do not bird true desert areas very much. Desert Lark always seems to be associated with cliffs or jebals and these birds were no exception, and they do not occur in pure sandy areas. The birds in Saudi Arabia vary in colour depending on the type of rock or substrate they are living on. These birds are Ammomanes deserti insularis of the chalky limestone areas seen in the Eastern Province. Birds are generally only seen in the very early morning and late evening when the temperatures are lower and it is a difficult bird to see during the heat of the day. Birds have been seen using Spiny-tailed Lizard burrows to keep cool from the sun during the mid-day period.
Desert Lark

Desert Lark

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