30 April 2015

Great Spotted Cuckoo east of Zulfi – Bird record by Mohammad al Mohatrish

I am very grateful to Mansur Al Fahad and Mohammad al Mohatrish who have sent me details and photographs of a Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius seen on 26 April east of Zulfi in north Central Saudi Arabia. Mohammad al Mohatrish took the photographs with the details supplied by Mansur and they have very kindly given me permission to use the details on my website. Great Spotted Cuckoo is a scarce passage migrant through Central Arabia, with Mansur knowing of three records in Zulfi in the last three years mostly in spring. A bird was also seen in January 2015 west of Hail with Mansur hearing of a number of additional records in the central area of the Kingdom. Elsewhere in the Kingdom it is an uncommon passage migrant in Western Saudi Arabia becoming less common as you travel eastwards where it is a vagrant in the Eastern Province. There has been some suggestion that the species may winter in Saudi Arabia but they are very early migrants often occurring on passage in January so this obscures the picture slightly and they are almost certainly just passage migrants in the Kingdom.