21 May 2015

Regional Endemic Yemen Linnet near Taif – Bird records by Phil Roberts

Phil Roberts was birding near Taif recently in the west of the Kingdom and saw and photographed Yemen Linnet. This is close to the northernmost extent of the species range where they are restricted to the Hejaz and Asir mountains. Yemen Linnet Carduelis yemenensis is a common resident of the southwest highlands, where their habitat preference is for subtropical to tropical dry shrubland. They often frequent weedy terraced fields that have been harvested, where it can be seen in flocks of up to 200 birds and can be seen to 3100 metres on the top of Jebal Soudah. It is also recorded on the Raydah escarpment along the Raydah Pipeline Road, Al Jarrah and Al Azah. In 1987 it was also common and widespread so there appears to have been no change in its status during the last thirty years. Flocks have been seen in the Baha area in the Golden Tulip valley where they frequent cultivated areas and allotments. The species is also a common breeding resident, but rather local, occurring in cultivated areas and juniper of the Hejaz and Asir mountains.