22 January 2016

Fifth Black Scrub Robin for the Eastern Province – Sarrar, Eastern Province

Amazingly in the same small field near Sarrar where Phil and I found two Woodlarks on 15 January, we found shortly afterwards a Black Scrub Robin Cercotrichas podobe a species that has only been recorded four times in the Eastern Province making this fifth record. The species is apparently extending its range north and east. Phil has seen the species once before in the Eastern Province but this was a new Province species for me. Although very rare in the Eastern Province, they are an uncommon breeding resident along the Red Sea north to Yanbu, the Tihamah, Asir, Hejaz, and Northern Hejaz to 160 km north of mecca. They are not found on the juniper summits of mountains in Asir or Hejaz but are regularly seen as far east as Riyadh.