05 April 2024

Eastern Cinereous Bunting – Al Uqair

An early morning trip to Al Uqair looking for migrants proved very fruitful with a nice Eastern Cinereous Bunting. Seen feeding on the ground outside the small farm. The yellow underparts make it the eastern form semenowi from SE Turkey rather than Western form cineracea with its greyish coloued underparts that comes from western Turkey. This is only the third time I have seen the species in Saudi Arabia. It is a scarce passage migrant & rare winter visitor and migrates across the Kingdom from March to May and again from August to September. There are scattered records from the Eastern province, near Riyadh and Tayif of birds travelling to or from their northern breeding grounds.