Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Al Sharbatly village, Jeddah

It's the start of my Eid holiday and I'm in Jeddah with friends Sam and Jane who used to teach with me in Libya. Their holiday hasn't started so I got a chance to bird around there compound last evening and this morning.

Al Sharbatly is the second largest ex-pat compound in Jeddah. There are apparently over 900 dwellings. It's green with plenty of trees and bushes of many varieties. In short its an ideal (and large) place for land birds in an surrounding environment which is generally much drier.

Nile valley sunbird

I am very happy with what I have seen so far. Among the LBJs (little brown jobs) I tracked this morning were several Nile valley sunbird. In summer the males are not LBJs at all but bright multi-coloured birds with long tails. In winter, like now, they are surprisingly easy to miss among the drabber birds.

typical side street in the compound

One of the most common "drabber" birds in the compound is Indian silverbill. Unlike further down the west coast of Saudi Arabia where the silverbill species is African silverbill,  the one in Jeddah I have seen recorded is Indian silverbill and the one in the compound is indeed Indian silverbill.  

Indian silverbill

In much of the world around human habitation, the house sparrow is common and I had thought the main sparrow on the compound was a house sparrow. However on closer inspection I am now seeking extra opinions on its identification!

unidentified sparrow

I am pretty sure there are plenty of wintering warblers on the compound among the smaller "drabber birds" but as always they require great patience and effort. 

chiffchaff

The chiffchaff seen this morning is probably representative of large assortment of warblers in the compound.

yellow vented bulbul

The compound is thronging with yellow vented bulbul. This is the first time I have seen this bird in Saudi Arabia although it is present in Riyadh too.

Some of the birds seen at Al Waha compound in Riyadh are here too. Laughing dove is here although I haven't seen collared dove. 

laughing dove

Black bush robin is at both places too. It seems to adapt well to well manicured gardens.

close up of black bush robin

The black bush robin above was very tame. As I kept still it walked towards me. Actually many birds in the compound were relatively less shy than when I have seen them in other environments.

common myna

Another bird common to Al Waha compound Riyadh and Al Sharbatly, Jeddah is the common myna.


house crow

One bird I almost certainly won't see in Riyadh but was present today is the house crow.

Ruppells weaver

Ruppells weaver is a summer breeder in Wadi Hanifah Riyadh. However in Al Sharbatly, Jeddah it is here all year round.

weaver nests in the compound

A bird which appears to be in the larger compounds in Riyadh and Jeddah but not the smaller ones is rose ringed parakeet. I saw two just before sunset here last night. I am hoping for a better picture over the next few days.

rose ringed pararkeet

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