25 August 2016

Montane Nightjar - Tanoumah

Whilst looking for Nightjars and Owls near Tanoumah Phil Roberts and I located a minimum of two Montane Nightjars Caprimulgus poliocephalus flying around just after dark. We observed the birds continually flying around and landing on a lamppost for at least three hours after dark. The birds remained silent but one one occassio I heard a bird calling from some distance briefly. Mountain Nightjar was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1982 and has since been observed in every month of the year at the Raydah Escarpment indicating it is resident. Increased singing has been noted in March to May with birds seen between 2000-3000 metres although down to 1200 in cold winters. They only appear to occur along the western slopes and highlands of the Asir mountains from the Yemen boarder in the south through Al Baha to Al Shafa near Taif in the north. Where they occur they appear to be locally common.