Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A wadi on the Khamis road

The road to Abha out of Najran is long, very steep, rocky and at least for the first hour out of town - dry and brown.

I took a detour from my birding in the Najran valley to travel up the hills on this road, often called the Khamis road. 

I was travelling in a minibus actually provided by my company but it couldn't make it to the top of the hills. So we had to make a makeshift decision. I birded the first decent wadi we came to.


At 1500 metres the landscape on the eastern slopes is in stark contrast to what I have been told the western and seaward slopes of the Asir range at this latitude look like.

Some birds still manage to make a living though. Two or three blackstart were seen around the wadi. I have seen a few now which have seemingly random buff areas on them. The one photographed above has one on its face. I assume they are stains. 

 A flock of yellow vented bulbul call the wadi home too. It really is a hardy species in western Saudi Arabia.

view of the wadi

Otherwise the most common species was actually desert lark. I have never thought of this bird as a bird of wadis before but maybe it is in relatively dry places.

two desert lark

There was not much sign of any rust colour on the tails of these desert lark. The landscape seemed to be mostly basalt and I wonder if the local sub species has adapted colours to blend in better.

house sparrow

Finally the other bird seen on this brief stop over was the ubiquitous house sparrow. There was only one house close-by but that's enough for house sparrow to make a base.

Tomorrow I will be going to my local patch near Al Hayer near Riyadh. Is it too much to expect the first passage birds to have arrived?

No comments:

Post a Comment