25 October 2020

Hypocolius at Khafra Marsh – Bird records by Jibin Jayan

Whilst birding the Khafra Marsh area near Jubail on 17 October Jibin Jayan came across a young Hypocolius. This is an early date for birds in Saudi Arabia and a very nice find as they are a regular but local winter visitor from November to April. In the Eastern Province it has been noted at widely scattered locations from Hanidh in the north to Haradh in the south. The highest counts have been 85-120 at Salasil in December 1983. Migrants have been seen in November and April, with odd males at Haradh and Al Kharj away from the normal palms suggesting migration during those months. In Saudi Arabia as a whole they are an uncommon, but may be a locally common winter visitor to Central Arabia, Northern Hejaz, Hejaz and Northern Red Sea. Flocks of over 100 birds have been recorded in Riyadh each winter. Jibin kindly allowed me to ushers photos on my website which are shown below.