16 December 2020

Juvenile Black-winged Kite – Wadi Ad Dewasir

Whilst birding in the Wadi Ad Dewasir area in November 2020 I found a juvenile Black-winged Kite which is the first record for this area of the Kingdom. Black-winged Kite is a scarce visitor to the Kingdom, but is becoming more common in recent years with birds seen in almost every month. In the north of the Kingdom, an adult was at Wadi Rabigh 24 May 2013, one west Tayma 13 November 2015 and one near Tabuk 25 March 2016 with one in the Riyadh area at Al Hair early October 2015 with two until 18 October 2015 with another in the same area November 2020. In the Eastern Province one was at Dhahran Saudi Aramco Camp spray fields 29 March to 17 April 2012 with another 20 April 2014 and one Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm, Fadhili, near Jubail, 4 September 2015. A pair were at Khafrah Marsh in 2019 with a juvenile also seen, suggesting possible breeding. A single was at Mulayjah near Nayriyah 13 March 2019. All birds sub-specifically identified in the north and east of the Kingdom were of the eastern subspecies Elanus caeruleus vociferous a subspecies that occurs from Pakistan east to southern & eastern China, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula. In the Southwest of the Kingdom, they are probably an erratic visitor from Africa and have occurred as far north as Jeddah and Taif. Birds from this area include one Farasan Islands April & June 1988, one on a telegraph wire near Wadi Shahdan 3 September 1991, one over a maize field near Malaki Dam 9 February 1992, an adult NE Jizan 24 July 2001, one at Malaki Dam Lake on 6 May 2002 and 7 May 2002, one near Shuqayri, 11 July 2010 and one Malaki Dam Lake 3 Sep 2015 Elanus caeruleus caeruleusthe first confirmed record of this African subspecies for the Kingdom, although all previous SW records were assumed to have been this race. Elanus caeruleus caeruleus occurs in the southwest Iberian Peninsula, most of Africa and Southwest Arabia.