11 March 2016

Eastern (Siberian) Stonechat – Jubail

Whilst birding at Jubail I came across a Stonechat with extensive white wing patches and a white rump but did not show any white down the side of the tail that many show, indicating it was not a variagata/armenicus type. These birds are uncommon winter visitors to the Eastern Province from late August until March with many birds thought to be maurus/stejnegeri but more from the Caspian Stonechat Taxons. The maurus/stejnegeri birds have a white rump, more extensive white on neck and larger white wing patches than European Stonechat, with the red more restricted to the centre of the breast. stejnegeri has rather less white on rump with these birds also having jet black underwing coverts. Wing length can also be helpful but the bird I saw was in wing moult. To ensure correct recial identification you need good views of the spread tail, rump and underwing as well as the upperparts and without this they can be difficult to assign with certainty.