17 August 2013

Bani Malik

Bani Malik (17 35.027N, 43 08.171E) is an area near to Jabal Gaha where after leaving the small village of Bani Malik at approximately 1800 metres, the road descends into a valley. This valley and the upper areas of it had previously been mentioned as a good area where some excellent birding had occurred in July 2001. We visited this area on 2 July but birded the lower regions (17 20.90N, 43 09.97E), before the main climb to Bani Malik, at about 810 metres. The road to the village was in very bad shape in July 2013 with large cliff falls and road slips. We found a deep wadi with a road off into it to the right just after a large town. We drove down the track until we found some nice vegetation and then birded the area on foot for a couple of hours. The temperature here was pleasantly cooler than down near the coast at Jizan making birding over the lunchtime period pleasant rather than a chore and as a result we saw a few good birds in the area. On entering the wadi we saw a large group of 50+ Alpine Swifts in the air together and five Red-rumped Swallows and two Little Swifts were also flying around. Although this was a back road with parts of the road missing it was still relatively busy with traffic.
Grey-headed Kingfisher
Bruce's Green Pigeon
Bruce's Green Pigeon
African Collared Dove
White-spectacled Bulbul

In the dry area of the wadi were two Blackstarts and an Arabian Warbler and five White-spectacled Bulbuls were in the roadside trees. Shining Sunbird and six Grey-headed Kingfishers was seen in a small side arm of the wadi with a pair of Grey-headed Kingfishers feeding young in a hole in the sand bank by the wadi roadside. Three Bruce’s Green Pigeons were flying about from tall tree to tall tree and an African Collared Dove was also seen along with 10+ Violet-backed Starlings.