23 December 2015

Hypocolius at Jasra in Bahrain – Bird records by Jehad AlAmmadi

Hypocolius is a species that many birdwatchers would like to see as it is a family on its own. They are quite difficult to see as they occur in regions that are not so easy to access like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Hypocolius is a short-distance migrant. Small numbers remain in western Iran throughout year but the majority migrate south and east to thier main wintering areas in southern Iran, Pakistan, western India, west and central Saudi Arabia, and Arabian Gulf States (notably Bahrain). Departure from the breeding areas mainly occurs in August with birds arriving back in April. In Saudi Arabia as a whole they are an uncommon, but may be a locally common winter visitor to Central Arabia, Northern Hejaz, Hejaz and Northern Red Sea. Flocks of over 100 birds have been recorded in Riyadh each winter. Bahrain is probably the best and easiest place to see the species with Jasra the best location. This winter more than 200 birds are present and Jehad managed to photograph both males and females there. Jehad kindly sent me some of his photos that are shown below and has allowed me to use them on my website.