03 December 2021

Black Kite - Abu Arish Municipal Dump

Whilst birding the Abu Arish Municipal Dump in mid-November we found up to 250 Black Kites, with more than 650 in the entire area. It was an amazing spectacle watching hundreds of Black Kites swirling around the rubbish dump, with some birds right overhead and many others on the ground. Some birds looked like typical Black Kites which are a medium-sized bird of prey that is a widespread species throughout the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia. The two sub-species, European Black Kite & Black-eared Kite with European Black Kite Milvus migrans migrans - Breeds Central, Southern and Eastern Europe to Tien Shan and south to NW Pakistan. Winters in sub-Saharan Africa. Black-eared Kite Milvus migrans lineatus - Siberia to Amurland South around Himalaya to Iran, Northern India, Northern Indochina and Southern China; Japan. Recent DNA work suggests that the Black-eared Kite (M. m. lineatus), is not sufficiently distinctive to justify specific status. The status varys throughout Saudi Arabia, where in the east they are uncommon passage migrants, mainly in the spring, and winter visitors, whereas in the west they are common to very common passage migrants and winter visitors occurring from Tabuk in the north and increasing in numbers towards Jizan in the southwest. In central areas it is an uncommon spring and autumn passage migrant and winter visitor that passes in March and again early August to October with wintering birds arriving in November and departing early February.