I found a wintering Masked Shrike a few weeks ago in Deffi Park, Jubail that has been seen every weekend since by various birders and photographers. The bird has kept faithful to a very small area of the park, and is also very vocal, making it easier to see.
The Masked Shrike is an uncommon but regular passage migrant and increasingly regular winter visitor to Saudi Arabia. Winter records have come from all areas of the Kingdom but are more common in the southwest and the Eastern Province although they remain scarce at this time of year in both areas.
Birds pass mainly in April to May and September although there are records from all months of the year and during this period they are much commoner than they are in winter.
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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