Jan 142017
Yemen Linnet

Yemen Linnet Carduelis yemenensis is a common resident of the south-west highlands, frequenting weedy terraced fields, that have been harvested, where it was often seen in flocks of up to 200 birds. It has also been recorded on the Raydah escarpment along the Raydah Pipeline Road, Al Jarrah and Al Azah. In 1987 it was […]

Jan 062017
Arabian Waxbill

Arabian Waxbill Estrilda rubibarba is a rather scarce resident of the Tihama region where they have beens seen on Jebal Faifa summit and at Jebal Gaha as well as at the Raghadan Forest area of Baha. Birds have also been seen near Tanoumah, Al Baha and as far north as Taif where they can be […]

Jan 012017
New year, new birds: 10 newly-recognised species

BirdLife is proud to announce that Volume 2 of the Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World is now available to purchase. Published by Lynx Edicions in association with HBW and BirdLife International, Volume 2 chronicles the world’s passerines (perching birds), and completes the most exhaustive illustrated checklist of birds ever compiled, with stunning, […]

Dec 312016
Arabian Scops Owl

Arabian Scops Owl Otus pamelae has recently been split as a distinct species from African Scops Owl O. s. senegalensis. Recent work (Pons et al 2013) has shown African Scops Owl, represents a very distinct lineage and is well differentiated phylogenetically, morphologically and vocally from O. s. senegalensis. As a result it has been recommend […]

Dec 222016
Phillby’s Partridge

Philby’s Partridge Alectoris philbyi is a rare resident of the south-west highlands. The best sites for locating the species are the terrace fields near Tanoumah, the dry scrub covered hillsides on Jebal Souda plateau and the area around Al Baha. They prefer juniper dominated habitats where rocky knolls & clearings occur and ocurs from 1500 […]

Dec 192016
POLL: Should Arab sheikhs be allowed to hunt bustards?

One of Pakistan’s four provinces has banned Arab sheikhs from hunting a protected species of bird, defying Islamabad’s longstanding policy of giving hunting licences to key regional allies. Swaths of habitat used in the winter by the migratory houbara bustard are allocated in blocks to the some of the most senior people in the United […]

Nov 252016
Wintering Greater Spotted Eagles – near Jubail

At least seven Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga were recorded at a wetland site near Jubail in mid-November. Birds winter at a number of sites in Saudi Arabia with the Jubail area the best for the species in the Eastern province. In winter birds are almost always near wetland areas with large areas where they […]

Nov 142016
Saudi authorities sound warning on illegal hunting in rented farms

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) has condemned the hunting of migratory and protected birds in private farms. Bird hunting is a popular sport in Saudi Arabia, but lately hunters have been resorting to new techniques where property owners rent their farms to hunters as a source of income. The result: […]

Oct 292016
Largest every flock of Spur-winged Lapwing in Saudi Arabia - Haradh

Whilst birding the large Pivot Irrigation fields of Haradh on 14 October Phil Roberts and I came across large numbers of Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus. This was a surprise as the species is seldom recorded in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The largest recorded flocks in Kingdom have been 61 at Todhia farm, 27 […]

Sep 142016
African Olive Pigeon - Raydah Escarpment

Whilst birdwatching in the Raydah Escarpment recently Phil Roberts and I saw two African Olive Pigeons. This was a species we had been looking for but had failed to see on many previous trips to the southwest of the Kingdom. It was only discovered as a new species for Saudi Arabia in the mid 1980’s […]

Sep 082016
Birding the Talea’a Valley - Abha

The Talea’a Valley near Abha is in the Asir mountains in southwest Saudi Arabia and is a large upland wadi with stony ground and acacia trees growing in the bottom. It has had some good birds seen in it in recent years including Arabian Magpie, although this species has not been seen there for many […]