15 Apr 2015

Caucasian Bluethroat trapped and ringed – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst ringing on 10 April we trapped and ringed a Caucasian Bluethroat Luscinia svecica magna, which is lumped with White-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica cyanecula, which in turn is often lumped with Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica. This is the first time I have seen this sub-species in Saudi Arabia although they are seen regularly in nearby Kuwait to the north of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia White-spotted Bluethroat is a scarce passage migrant although status of this subspecies is not well known. It is difficult to work out the true status of White-spotted Bluethroat or Caucasian Bluethroat as it is not possible to identify them outside of males in breeding plumage a plumage that it is rarely seen in the winter months. A really gppd thing about ringing is you can see if the bluethroat of magna is really completely blue or hiding some white spot feathers underneath the blue feathers. This bird had a completely blue throat. L. s. magna breed from Turkey, Caucasus area and northwest Iran and winter in Arabia and northeast Africa where small numbers occur in northeast Sudan and Ethiopia. In the region passage birds are mainly seen in the United Arab Emirates in April as well as in Bahraina and Kuwait around the same time. With these locations and dates, it is not surprising they also occur in eastern Saudi Arabia in April.
Caucasian Bluethroat

Caucasian Bluethroat


  1. One of the same birds with the completely blue throat took up residence in our back garden during the months Feb/Mar 17. It had a song similar to a Skylark. This was in Tabuk.