Monday, 15 October 2012

Uncommon warblers at Heet

Manssur Al Fahad regularly bird watches at three sets of acacia groves near the small town of Heet. They seem to be excellent migrant traps for warblers.  On the two times I have been with him recently we saw a large number of blackcap and a smaller number of barred warbler.

However Manssur has video records of several other warblers seen there (and mostly since the beginning of September).  These include Menetries warbler for example.

The bird below has caused the most identification problems.

probable cyprus warbler. A still taken from video by Manssur Al Fahad

It is clearly a sylvia warbler. The spotted under-tail coverts,the pale legs and the grey head  led Manssur to believe it was a young cyprus warbler.

 probable cyprus warbler - second view

I posted it on BirdForum for identification without leading people with his opinion. The resulting discussion supported the idea but like me and Manssur their only concern was the geography. 

 probable cyprus warbler -third view

Cyrpus warbler is a short distance migrant. It can be seen in north west Saudi Arabia in the Tabuk area in winter. Assuming it is a cyprus warbler which I now believe, it might be assumed to be a vagrant to the Riyadh area. However no-one really bird watches in the intermediate wadis south east of  Tabuk and north west of Riyadh (in the Hail area for example). Could it be there too?

 Eastern orphean warbler

I am finishing with another of Manssur's finds at Heet. Here is an Eastern orphean warbler seen in September.  Both this and cyprus warbler have still evaded me so true congratulations to Manssur!

No comments:

Post a Comment