31 May 2021

Zitting Cisticola – Phil’s Fields

The Zitting Cisticola is an uncommon breeding resident in Saudi Arabia, where it is found mainly in the far southern Tihama, south of Abha. It usually occurs below 500 metres in hot, dry, open grasslands and crop fields. Phil’s Fields near Sabya is probably the best place to see the species as they are common and call continually. Due to their small size and active behavior they are very difficult to photograph but I luckily managed to get very close to one this visit and took my best photos so far of the species. Birds alight on tall grasses and sing occasionally but trying to get close enough to obtain decent photos is not easy. Birds can be seen in suitable habitat all the way south to the Yemen boarder near Malaki Dam Lake and Wadi Jewa.