26 November 2014

Finsch’s Wheatear - Jabal Nayriyyah

On Phil and my November trip to the north of the Province on 21 November, we stopped at Jabal Nayriyyah to see if we could see Desert Larks and Eastern Morning Wheatear that are regularly see there. We did not see either species but I did find a Finsch’s Wheatear below one of the Jebals. It was very flighty and would not allow close approach but following it about for some time and careful study showed it to be this species, with the white down the back and the ‘T’ like tail pattern diagnostic. This was only the second time I have seen the species in Saudi Arabia and it was a new bird for Phil so we were very happy with the stop. Very little else was seen here apart from an Asian Desert Warbler and an Isabelline Wheatear along with a Red-tailed Wheatear. I have only seen Red-tailed Wheatear in one site before in Saudi Arabia and this was my local ‘patch’. Finsch’s Wheatear is a rare to uncommon winter visitor to the Northern Hejaz, Tabuk, Northern Deserts, Summan Plateau and the northern part of the Eastern Province.