Steppe Eagles – Abha

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Whilst in Abha in April, Phil Roberts and I came across a number of Steppe Eagles that have presumably wintered in the area. These birds will soon be moving back to their breeding areas and are quite late stayers. Steppe Eagle is a common migrant and winter visitor to the south-west, northern Hejaz and Central Arabia where up to 1000 birds have been recorded in a small area.

They breed from the Black Sea eastwards across central Asia to Mongolia and migrate to winter south to southern Africa and southern Asia. They pass through the Middle East in large numbers on migration. The juvenile birds shown below have wide even width whitish bands on the trailing edges and centre of the underwings and on the tail tip.

They also have a uniformly coloured body and wing-coverts and whitish under-tail coverts. Whitish tips to the greater upperwing coverts and secondaries form bands across, and trailing edges to, the upperwings. They also have whitish uppertail coverts.

Steppe Eagle
Steppe Eagle

 

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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.

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.

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