Arabian Green Bee-eater

The Arabian Green Bee-eater is usually treated as conspecific with M. viridissimus and M. orientalis, but differs from both in its very short stub-ended central tail feathers; bright blue forehead, supercilium and throat, and bluer lower belly; broader, smudgier black breast-bar; marginally larger size and clearly longer tail (minus the tail extensions) than the other […]

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Arabian Magpie

The taxonomic position of Arabian Magpie Pica asirensis is certainly uncertain, although it is generally regarded as a subspecies of Eurasian Magpie. Gill & Donsker (2016) regard it as such, though there is a caveat “MtDNA phylogeny suggests that Eurasian Magpie comprises several potential species including Korean Magpie P. sericea, Mahgreb Magpie P. mauritanica and […]

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Yemen Linnet

Yemen Linnet Carduelis yemenensis is a common resident of the south-west highlands, frequenting weedy terraced fields, that have been harvested, where it was often seen in flocks of up to 200 birds. It has also been recorded on the Raydah escarpment along the Raydah Pipeline Road, Al Jarrah and Al Azah. In 1987 it was […]

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Arabian Scops Owl

Arabian Scops Owl Otus pamelae has recently been split as a distinct species from African Scops Owl O. s. senegalensis. Recent work (Pons et al 2013) has shown African Scops Owl, represents a very distinct lineage and is well differentiated phylogenetically, morphologically and vocally from O. s. senegalensis. As a result it has been recommend […]

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Arabian Waxbill

Arabian Waxbill Estrilda rubibarba is a rather scarce resident of the Tihama region where they have beens seen on Jebal Faifa summit and at Jebal Gaha as well as at the Raghadan Forest area of Baha. Birds have also been seen near Tanoumah, Al Baha and as far north as Taif where they can be […]

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Rare and unusual birds seen in Saudi Arabia in second half of 2016

A pair of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus with two recently hatch young, 12 August, were the first record of breeding for the species in the Kingdom. An unprecedented influx of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris were seen with fifteen 30 kilometers east of Zulfi 8 November, six together 40 kilometers north of Zulfi 11 November and […]

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Greater Spotted Eagle – Jubail

I have seen at least fifteen Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clangathis winter in the Jubail area. 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 can hunt […]

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Blue-cheeked Bee-eater – 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 […]

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