Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The foothills of Fifa

Last weekend, Mansur Al Fahad and I might have spent most of our time down in the plains near Jizan but we made two short excursions part way up the hills.

In the first, up wadi Jizan we found red eyed dove. In the second which is the subject of this blog we headed out from Sabya up towards the hill town of Fifa. 

Arabian warbler. Cropped from a photo by Mansur Al Fahad

In an isolated wadi no more than 750 metres up which we inspected, the bird life had switched to the more mountainous species. There were Arabian babbler and yellow vented bulbul which can be found on plain or hill or mountain. After that it was more about differences than similarities. Cinnamon breasted bunting has a preference for hills and was common there. However  Arabian warbler really isn't a coastal bird and it was easily seen.

Shining sunbird

While Nile valley sunbird was the commonest near Lake Maliki, Shining sunbird was the bird of this wadi.

Alpine swift. Cropped from a photo by Mansur Al Fahad

In the air, the African palm swift of the plains was replaced by Alpine swift.  The helms guide to birds of the Middle East shows it as a summer breeder in the small area around Fifa. In the text, the book asks whether they might be resident. I think we have the answer.

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