5 Jan 2014

North Caspian Taxon Caspian Stonechat – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding the ‘patch’ the last few days I have seen a very smart male variegatus sub-species of Eastern (Siberian) Stonechat now know as NCT or Northern Caspian Taxon. As mentioned previously the Stonechat complex is as its name suggests very complex and a new paper written by Lars Svensson, Hadoram Shirihai, Sylke Frahnert & Edward C. Dickinson on the Taxonomy and nomenclature of the Stonechat complex Saxicola torquatus sensu lato in the Caspian region. This paper suggests variegatus (S. G. Gmelin, 1774) from eastern Ukraine on the lower Don, east Crimea, the Kalmykiya plains north-east to the Volga Delta area, in the south on the northern slopes of Caucasus, apparently reaching north Azerbaijan (should be named as ‘NCT’ for ‘North Caspian Taxon’). The bird has been in the spray fields and may be the same bird as seen there a month ago? Other birds seen in recent days include a Greater Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Song Thrush, two Great Cormorants and 78 Western Cattle Egrets.
Northern Caspian Taxon - Eastern Stonechat
Northern Caspian Taxon - Eastern Stonechat
Northern Caspian Taxon - Eastern Stonechat


  1. Muy interesante el blog, desconocía que en Arabia Saudí la riqueza ornitológica fuera tan grande. Un saludo y le invito a visitar mi blog de naturaleza:http://danielgutierreznatufoto.blogspot.com.es/

    1. Daniel,

      Great photos on your nature blog - very interesting