15 January 2018

Arabian Wheatear – Raydah Escarpment

Whilst birding the Raydah Escarpment area recently I saw a couple of Arabian Wheatears Oenanthe lugentoides, mainly in the lower reaches of the escarpment. The Arabian Wheatear is a rather scarce resident of the south-west highlands, but is also found in Oman and Yemen, mainly in rocky, bushy sites but is widespread on the Jebal Souda plateau, Wadi Tale’a, Pipeline Road, near Farshah, Gara’a, Tanoumah, Raghadan Forest and the upper parts of the Golden Tulip valley in Baha as well as Taif. In 1987 it was recorded more frequently than present so the species may have declined slightly, with disturbance not thought likely to be the reason as it is often associated with gardens and regularly breeds near human sites. They nest in holes in terrace walls and feed largely on insects.
Arabian Wheatear