22 January 2023

Another January Common Cuckoo – Hanidh

Whilst birding the Hanidh area on 20 January Phil Roberts noticed a Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus sitting in a tree on the edge of a large pivot irrigation field. This is an exceptionally early time for the species to occur but, we had another on 19 January 2018 in Jubail, and there have been a handful of records in the UAE in January. Oriental Cuckoo is a possibility as a vagrant but has not been recorded in the Kingdom yet. The photos I took do not show too many features of this species, although they are very difficult to identify unless calling, which this bird was not. Common Cuckoo is an uncommon passage migrant in Saudi Arabia occurring throughout the Kingdom. Spring migration is mainly in April and May and autumn migration from mid-August to October.