21 February 2014

Some bird records from Asir, Shedgum & Haradh from the 1980’s – Bird records by Cliff Peterson

Here are a few more of Cliff Peterson's photos from Saudi Arabia from the mid 1980's. These birds were photographed in Asir province, Shedgum and Haradh.

Lammergeier - This species (if still extant) is found in the Asir province and could be seen from Jeblel Soudah or vantage points along the Tuwaiq escarpment in SW Arabia.  Our experience was that presumably the same bird would appear late each afternoon and glide by our campsite at the edge of the escarpment. Photo taken 16 June 1985.

Spotted Sandgrouse - We only ever found this species at Haradh in the Eastern Province. These would come in from the desert after dawn and again before dusk to drink in the agricultural fields at Haradh.  Similar to most Sandgrouse, their distinctive call is heard before they come into view.  We had up to 300 birds in several flocks and recorded them in September, November, December, January, the only months we went to Haradh to camp in the desert.

Lilith Little Owl - We found this owl but a few times.  It is very reasonable to assume we under-counted this bird; as it is small and needs the right-sized cavity. This bird was located in Jebel Shedgum in February 1984.  We saw another at the Nariyah Substation 9 December 1983.

Trumpeter Finch - This species is widely distributed but thinly populated in arid regions from Azerbaijan across the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa to Morocco. There are small populations in southern Spain and the Canary Islands. In Arabia, it is almost exclusively in rocky areas away from developed areas nomadically following seed crops resulting from localized rains. Often it can be heard before being seen due to its distinctive call that sounds like a child's buzzing toy trumpet. This bird was photographed in Wadi Nisah in 1984.