Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Looking forward to the south west

All being well I'll be making a short weekend trip to the south west of Saudi Arabia sometime in January.  The trip will probably be to Najran with prospects of going towards Abha.

Hopefully this will be the first of many trips to this area.

brown woodland warbler

This part of Saudi Arabia has more in common with East African birding than with Western Paleartic (Eurasian). There are tens of Afro-tropical species such as the brown woodland warbler. This one was photographed by Abdullah Amrou in August near Abha.

a second brown woodland warbler

There are also eleven endemics to South West Arabia and Yemen.

Ruppells weaver nests near Abha

Most be not all of the endemics are only found at high altitude. Najran is at 1200 metres but the city of Abha is at 2200 metres. The endemics are most usually looked for in the Abha region where peaks reach 3000 metres. However there are highlands close to Najran.

Yemen linnet

One of the endemics, the Yemen linnet was also photographed by Abdullah Amrou in August. I have seen it (and photographed it near Taif, a long way north of both Abha and Najran).

I am not sure if anyone has birded the Najran area before! Foreign birders always seem to make a bee-line to Abha. I am excited to find out what we will see.

fan tailed raven near Abha

I am again grateful to Abdullah Amrou for letting me show some of his pictures.

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