Nov 232015
Birding Antalya, Turkey

A few days ago I returned from Antalya, Turkey. I wasn’t there for fun or birding; it was a work trip. I was unable to go anywhere except walk around the hotel grounds and look for whatever wildlife might appear there. However, the grounds were large and beautiful; there were lots of trees, and the […]

Nov 142015
Teetering on the brink

As Saeed Shanfari and I finished at Dowkah farm so fresh on Monday we pressed on to Qatbeet before turning round. Qatbeet was so far from the coast, it was the only place which was not affected by cyclone chapala at all. It was it’s usual very hot self. Winter coolness arrives later in the […]

Nov 102015
Abdim's stork are back

During mid week a week ago, I managed to snatch some time to visit Raysut settling pools in the late afternoon. The good news is that about 45 Abdim’s stork had arrived. It is only in very recent years that they have chosen to winter in Salalah and it looks like that will continue this […]

Sep 152014
UK wagtails face long-term decline

The three species of wagtail that breed in the UK are suffering long-term declines, a study has revealed. Yellow wagtails, grey wagtails and pied wagtails are all in decline, according to the annual breeding bird survey’s latest report, though conservationists say the reasons for the reductions are not clear. Yellow wagtails, farmland birds which migrate […]

Jul 282013
Jahra Pools Reserve, Kuwait

Summer in Kuwait is searing hot and is traditionally a quiet birding month, however in late Spring we do have some species breeding at the Pools and mid-summer we have many Tern species breeding on the off-shore islands. Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius) have remained through the Spring and Summer and are suspected to be […]

Jul 072013
Rubʿ al-Khali; The Empty Quarter

At the start of this year I visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was fortunate to spend a few days at Shaybah in the northeastern edge of this, the world’s largest desert. This region is classified as ‘hyper-arid’ with typical rainfall of less than 30mm per year and is one of the driest regions […]

Mar 032013
Round up of Al Hayer in February

Last year I visited Al Hayer south of Riyadh almost weekly and it became what we birders call my local patch. This year I vowed to make trips more widely within Saudi Arabia and I have been doing so. However last weekend I returned to Al Hayer for the first time in over 6 weeks. […]

Feb 052013
Vultures so close to Riyadh

On Thursday, after visiting the Kararah lake area, our birding party doubled back away towards Riyadh on the Mecca road before turning off north west. This was on route 505 according to the map but route 902 according to the road sign. This is an occupational hazard in Saudi Arabia, road sign numbers and map […]

Jan 222013
Deffi Park, Jubail

I visited Deffi Park, Jubail for the first time on Thursday. It is a large city- based public park two kilometres inland from the Persian gulf. It is one of the best places apparently for migrant Eurasian thrushes and finches to be pushed down in mid winter. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t see one blackbird […]

Jan 122013
Happy New 2013!

So where have the blog gone? Why are you not posting any more, we want to hear some updates… In fact, I can think of so many excuses but the truth is, that I was just too lazy and didn’t have the mood to sit down and write while so many observations and reports have […]

Dec 282012
The new "blue lagoons"

In the late 1990s Tom Tarrant was birding the Riyadh area and he kept good records which I often compare against today’s findings. He has written about “the blue lagoons”. This was part of the Riyadh river where the habitat is more open than the area around the pivot fields where I normally bird. He […]

Nov 112012
The Arrival Of Wintering Cranes

The last week has been pretty good bird-wise. The weather, as predicted let loose an enormous amount of water in Cadiz province just as I was returning from Eastern Germany & Poland. My flight from Berlin to Barcelona was delayed while they found a slot around more autumnal storms that were creeping up from the […]

White Wagtail Motacilla alba


The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the Motacillidae family. This species breeds in much of Europe, Asia and north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. It is a scarce breeder in Alaska. In some areas the sub-species Pied Wagtail (M. […]