28 February 2021

Plain Nightjar – Abha area

Whilst birding the Abha area I found at least two Plain Nightjar. Originally one was flushed from a wadi bottom and flew a short distance to a raised rocky area. One trying to locate the bird it flew again and this time I managed to see approximately where it landed. Eventually I located the bird but it was well hidden and difficult to photograph. Later a bird was seen by my daughter, who said it had flown into a nearby tree, where I found it sitting on a branch. It later moved to another tree where better photographs were possible. This is the first time I have seen Plain Nightjar in the daytime. The Plain Nightjar is a migratory bird breeding in the summer in Saudi Arabia. They breed in Africa (from Mauritania to Eritrea and Somalia) as well as southwestern Arabia, with the Arabian birds wintering in Africa. It is an uncommon breeding migrant seen from Taif sout to Malaki Dam Lake in Jizan. They have been seen in dry, rocky, mostly bare hills with some scattered trees and scrub where they have been seen up to 2500 metres above sea level.