Whilst birding the Tanoumah area I saw plenty of Arabian Wheatears at many different sites. The Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides is a rather scarce resident of the south-west highlands, but is also found in Oman, Palestine and Yemen, mainly in rocky, bushy sites.
It is widespread on the Jebal Souda plateau, Raydah Escarpment, Wadi Talea’a and Tanoumah as well as the Taif area. It was previously recorded more frequently than present so the species has probably declined slightly, with disturbance not thought likely to be the reason as it is often associated with gardens and regularly breeds near human sites.
They nest in holes in terrace walls and feed largely on insects.
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.
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