Whilst birding the An Namas area of the Asir mountians 150 km north of Abha I came across a Little Owl Athene noctua sitting in a tree. Th e owl flew from the tree on observing me and flew down to a dry stone wall where it sat for some time before entering a hole. Another bird was also present on the wall, where they may be breeding.
This is only the second time I have seen the species in Saudi Arabia and all have been on dry stone walls, in the An Namas area. The species is not mapped as occurring in the An Namas area of Saudi Arabia in the field guide to the region, with the dark colour of the birds making them likely to be the subspeciesAthene noctua saharae.
This subspecies occurs from northern and central Sahara Desert south to the African countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan, and east discontinuously into Arabian Peninsula occurring in the Abha area north to central Saudi Arabia.