06 February 2013

Caspian Stonechat – Dhahran Hills

There have been two Siberian Stonechats Saxicola maurus maurus in the spray fields most of the winter and last week I saw a Common Stonechat there (see previous post). Today I found a Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus variegatus in the same fields and this is only the third example of this subspecies I have seen since I have been in Saudi Arabia. The first was in the same place last winter and the second a few days ago at Sabkhat Al Fasl. Caspian Stonechat is a scarce winter visitor to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in the winter. The pale colouration and extensive white in the tail of male birds, looking like a Northern Wheatear at times, makes for certain identification. The photo I took of the bird is fairly poor but you can make out the extensive white in the tail and general colouration. Hopefully if the bird satys around I will be able to get better photos at the weekend.