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.

Jan 112018
 
Two Spur-winged Lapwings – Jubail

Whilst biding the Jubail area I saw two Spur-winged Lapwings along the edge of a wet area. The species is still scarce in the Eastern Province although good numbers have been seen recently in the Haradh area including a bird this year that appeared to be defending a territory so may have been breeding. The […]

Jan 022018
 
Rare and unusual birds seen in Saudi Arabia in first half of 2017

An adult and juvenile Bewick’s Swan Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii near Al Jawf 14-15 December 2016 with three more adults in the north of the Kingdom 19 December 2016 being only the third to seventh records of the species for the Kingdom. Four See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis, including a calling male, were at a remote desert […]

Dec 272017
 
White-eared Bulbul – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding Dhahran I came across a White-eared Bulbul with a very large grub in its beak. It was in the trees at the edge of the golf course, but would not come out fully into the open. White-eared Bulbul is a very common species in Dhahran with the birds appearing to be of the […]

Dec 142017
 
Returning Pied Kingfisher and White-throated Kingfisher – Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area recently I came across a female Pied Kingfisher. This species is now becoming an uncommon winter visitor to the Jubail area with birds seen every winter for the last four years. The weather was very poor with overcast conditions so the photo is not the best but they are always […]

Dec 102017
 
Winter visitors – Jubail

Whilst birding Jubail recently I have come across a number of winter visitors to the region. Common Kestrel is an uncommon passage migrant but numbers build up in the winter months when they can be seen in various locations. Isabelline Wheatear numbers also increase as winter wears on and they can be seen along the […]

Dec 082017
 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters – Jubail

This autumn there have been large numbers of Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters passing over Jubail as well as many other areas of the Eastern Province. The species is a common passage migrant through the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with good numbers of birds passing in the spring as well as the autumn. Numbers are commoner in […]

Nov 192017
 
Female Montagu’s Harrier – Haradh

Whilst birding the NADAC Farm area of Haradh 20 October I saw plenty of Harriers including at minimum of two Montagu’s Harriers over the pivot irrigation fields. Male Montagu’s Harriers are easily identified by their upperwing pattern amongst other details but Juvenile and female Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers are difficult to identify with certainty at […]

Nov 052017
 
Black-eared/Black Kites - Tabuk

Whilst birding the pivot irrigation fields near Tabuk in early October we found hundreds of Black Kites. Many birds will be on passage at this time of year but many more will saty throughout the winter. Some birds looked like typical Black Kites and others like the very similar subspecies Black-eared Kite. The Black Kite […]

Oct 222017
 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and more – Jubail

There have been numerous small flocks of Bee-eaters passing over Jubail in recent weeks most of them European Bee-eaters. Recently a few Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters have been seen including some birds that have spent time perched on the ground or any other perches they could find. I found two birds sitting on a potentially not so […]