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 112018
Summer time birding - Tanoumah

Last summer I visited Tanoumah, and have just sorted out my photos from the trip. Below are a few species I managed to see and photograph including Abyssinian White-eye, Brown-necked Raven, Common Kestrel, Crested Lark, Little Rock Thrush, Tristrams Starling and Violet-backed Starling. I also saw a few Arabian endemics including Arabian Serin, Arabian Wheatear, […]

Mar 092018
Greater Spotted Eagles – Jubail

At least fifteen Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga were recorded at a wetland site near Jubail this winter. 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 […]

Mar 062018
Western Marsh Harrier – Al Asfar Lake

I went to Al Asfar Lake near to Hufuf recently and saw over fifty Western Marsh Harriers. I managed to get a number of reasonable photographs with a couple of two birds playing in the air together. The Western Marsh Harrier is a winter visitor to Saudi Arabia and they always occur in areas of […]

Mar 022018
Abyssinian Roller and Singing Bush Lark – Phil’s Fields

Whilst birding the southwest of the Kingdom this winter I went to Phil’s Fields which is a large pivot irrigation set up with three large fields. It is an excellent place to see good birds and I always see Singing Bush Lark and Zitting Cisticola there, and this visit was no exception. More unusual birds […]

Jan 192018
Plain Tiger – Raydah Escarpment

The below photograph of Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus was taken in the bottom valley of the Raydah Escarpment in the Asir Mountains of southwest Saudi Arabia. This butterfly was first depicted in an Egyptian tomb 3,500 years ago, making it the first ever butterfly to be recorded in history. Its striking tawny-orange colouration serves as […]

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 […]