15 October 2022

Ortolan Bunting - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I saw a single small bunting fly from the sandy dirt track and land on another sandy area out of sight. I moved the car around to try to locate the bird and eventually saw it sitting out in the open. It was completely in the shade when I first located it but by moving the car slightly I got the bird in the sunlight and took some nice photos of it. I have only seen a small number of Ortolan Bunting this year and have not managed any photos of any note so far this year so was pleased with my efforts. This species in an uncommon passage migrant throughout Saudi Arabia but is seen in good numbers in some years particularly on the Red Sea coast. Most birds pass from March until mid-May and again from late August to early October and can often be seen in small groups rather than singly. Birds are equally as likely to be seen feeding on the ground, as they are perched in trees, where they normally occur if frightened from their feeding area.