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.

May 212017
Collared Pratincole and other interesting birds

Phil Roberts and I went to Haradh in late April to look for migrants and other birds. We set off at 03:00 hrs and arrived at 06:00 hrs. Birding was not exactly stunning but a few good birds were seen in our day out. Birds we do not see often in the Eastern Province included […]

May 202017
African birds at the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment - Abha

Whilst birding the lower areas of the Raydah Escarpment in late March I saw a number of African species. Birds seen included African Grey Hornbill, Violet-backed Starling, Black-crowned Tchagra, Bruce’s Green Pigeon and White-browed Coucal. Bruce’s Green Pigeon is an interesting species as it only eats the fruit of a single type of fig tree. […]

May 172017
Laughing Dove and other interesting birds

Whilst in the Asir Mountains recently I went down the Raydah Escarpment early in the morning. This is the best place and best time to try to locate Arabian Partridge and as normal I was not disappointed with a number of birds calling and a couple seen on the roadside. A stop at the disused […]

May 152017
Arabian Spotted Eagle-Owl - Tanoumah

Whilst in Tanoumah in early April Phil Roberts and I saw an Arabian Spotted Eagle-Owl. Initially Phil found it sitting on some overhead wires but it soon flew off. It was seen a few times catching what looked like large moths around some very powerful lights on a house and was then lost from view. […]

May 122017
Red-throated and Tree Pipits – Jubail

A trip to Jubail in late April was very productive for Red-throated Pipits and Tree Pipits. The majority were Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinuswith up to thirty in small flocks in a couple of places. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis was also seen but in much smaller numbers of twos or threes. Red-throated Pipit is also a […]

May 062017
African Grey Hornbill at the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment - Abha

Whilst birding the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment in late March I saw up to ten African Grey Hornbills Tockus nasutus. This is a very high number as normally only one or two birds are seen. All birds appeared to be in pairs with loud calling being seen and heard from some birds on a […]

Apr 302017
Black-crowned Tchagra at the bottom of Raydah Escarpment - Abha

Whilst birding the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment in late March I came across a Black-crowned Tchagra. This was a new species for me in Saudi Arabia and one I was surprised I had not seen before. The bird was at the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment an area known to attract several African species […]

Apr 212017
Plenty of migrants - Jubail

Whilst birdwatching the Jubail area at the end of March I saw a lot of good birds and plenty of migrants. Unfortunately the weather was very poor and photography was difficult so most species remained un-photographed. The weather this winter has been very wet and windy and the morning drive to Jubail was through a […]

Apr 142017
‘Superciliaris’ type Yellow Wagtail - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I came across a large group of wagtails including Yellow Wagtails, White Wagtails and Citrine Wagtails. In amongst the mainly Black-headed Yellow Wagtails I saw briefly a superciliaris type bird. I managed to get a single photo of it before it flew off and could see it had many features […]

Apr 092017
Birds of prey eating Fat Sand Rats near Jubail - Records by Arnold Uy

Arnold Uy has been seeing Fat Sand Rats at a location near Jubail for most of the winter but reported that recently a large number of birds of prey as well as other birds were in the area probably eating the animals. Species seen included Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Common Kestrel and Long-legged […]