Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

Mar 042017
 
Winter visitors and passage migrants – Haradh

Phil Roberts and I went to Haradh recently and found plenty of good birds despite the temperature being 1 degrees Celsius the coldest day for many years in the region as well as a bitingly cold northerly wind. Some birds were winter visitors such as Mallard, Northern Lapwing, Desert Wheatear, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Tawny […]

Feb 192017
 
Pied Wheatear - Haradh

Whilst birding the Haradh area I found a Pied Wheatear. The bird was very tame suggesting it was a tiered newly arrived migrant and it spent most of its time busily catching insects. There were plenty of other migrants seen in the same area meaning the strong winds and very cod weather may have persuaded […]

Feb 122017
 
Eversmann’s Redstart - Jubail

Whilst birding at Jubail I found a female Eversmann’s Redstart, a new species for me. Birding up to that point had been rather poor due to the overcast and windy conditions but it was made up for with this bird. I noticed a redstart on the track between the large reed beds and it almost […]

Feb 082017
 
Birding the pivot fields – Haradh

The winter months are a good time to visit Haradh pivot irrigation fields as they hold a lot of good birds at this time of year. Large numbers of wintering Harriers, particularly Western Marsh Harrier and Pallid Harrier occur here and I saw well over thirty birds of both species during my visit. Another group […]

Feb 052017
 
Rare and unusual birds seen in Saudi Arabia in second half of 2016

A pair of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus with two recently hatch young, 12 August, were the first record of breeding for the species in the Kingdom. An unprecedented influx of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris were seen with fifteen 30 kilometers east of Zulfi 8 November, six together 40 kilometers north of Zulfi 11 November and […]

Jan 272017
 
White-crowned Wheatear - Haradh

Phil Roberts and I found a juvenile White-crowned Wheatears Oenanthe leucopyga at Haradh on 13 January 2017. The bird was seen along a roadside with scattered rocks as well as fences to keep people away from the pivot irrigation fields. This species had not been recorded in this area previously according to Mike Jennings, but […]