11 December 2023

Nubian Nightjar – Abu Arish

Whilst birding the Abu Arish area in late November, Phil Roberts and I spent some time after dark looking for Nubian Nightjars on an almost full moon night. We heard three calling Nubian Nightjar just as it got dark and saw a couple of birds briefly in flight and one on the ground before we located a single Nubian Nightjar in flight that alighted and allowed us to get close in the car. It remained in position for about ten minutes or more before we eventually left it in peace. This species is resident and breeds in the lowlands from the Yemen boarder to the Hijaz in Saudi Arabia where it has been seen northwards to KAUST north of Jeddah. There is a single record from the far north in the Kingdom at Sharma although the bird may have been a migrant rather than a resident in the area. Where it is found, which is a very limited number of locations, it can be locally common and favours rocky or stony areas with flat sandy areas with some vegetation often near water.