In the end I did see large numbers of tawny pipit. They were very variable and I decided to photograph every one I saw on the off chance I might find a Richard's pipit when wading through the photos on return. Alas, there was no Richard's pipit.
young tawny pipit
The better new was that I saw the first (second, third and fourth) long billed pipit of my life.
long billed pipit
The small flock was in a different place from the tawny pipit just as predicted in my Helms guide to the Middle east. Whereas the the tawny pipit were in the cultivated areas especially in the fallow fields, the long billed pipit were in the more natural, wilder slopes with boulders and some grass.
second long billed pipit
I didn't find bill length much help in identification. Instead the greyer backs, markings below the throat, stronger rufous- buff colour of the underbelly and cinnamon-grey outer tail feathers were more helpful. Apparently the last two features are special to the SW Arabian populations and make identification easier. They certainly helped me!
I had no luck with red throated pipit or tree pipit and I suspect this is because I didn't visit any places being watered. I had found them both in Libya on passage in watered places alongside yellow wagtail. So I didn't see yellow wagtail either!
I don't know whether the two pipits and yellow wagtail were there in Baha at that time or whether I just didn't visit wet enough habitat. On the other hand, white wagtail was everywhere.
The next blog is the last one on Baha and I am calling it "the best of the rest" but that might be a bit insulting to some of the birds. For example it includes a look at a pair of Arabian woodpecker as well as some friendly Tristram's grackle .