15 November 2014

Red-tailed Wheatear back on the boulders – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding the ‘patch’ on 11 November I saw the Red-tailed Wheatear that Phil had found at the weekend. I was busy with the family so unable to make it birding for the last few days so this was my first opportunity to look for the bird. Luckily it was still on the same boulders, an area where it or another bird has spent the last two winters. As the nights are drawing in as winter approaches the light is not good for photography in the evening any more with the below images the best I could manage. Hopefully the bird wil stick around all winter as in the last two years as they are great little birds to sit and watch. The Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia is a scarce winter visitor to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with birds occurring from late September until early April, especially in the vicinity of jebals, other rocky outcrops, dry scrub areas and semi-desert. It breeds in an area from north-east Turkey through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and western Pakistan while it winters to the south from southern Iraq, across the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-west India. Although they breed from 1200 – 4000 metres above sea level they winter down to sea level with this bird seen only 100 metres above sea level.