9 Nov 2019

Migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Tanoumah

Whilst birding the road between Tanoumah and Abha in Mid-October 2019 I saw a presumed migrating Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus. It was in the air with approximately eight Steppe Eagles which were also migrating due to the clear skys and good conditions. The species is uncommon in the Kingdom with numbers apparently declining and the southwest of the Kingdom is easily the best location for trying to locate birds. The species is an uncommon, resident breeder, in the Hejaz, Asir and the Tihama mountains of western Saudi Arabia, as well as a passage migrant. There are few records elsewhere in the Kingdom, and in the Eastern Province where I live, it is a vagrant with six records of seven birds but none have been seen in recent years. There is a small breeding colony near Riyadh. As this bird had a few features that looked odd I sent it to Dick Forsman for comments and as always he very kindly replied to me, for which I am very grateful, saying that the bird looked like a Eurasian Griffon Vulture with the exception of a few feathers around the armpit/inner greater coverts and is reasonably confident the bird is a Eurasian Griffon Vulture.
Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

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