black redstart (ochruros)
He has seen more signs of the passage including this black redstart of the sub-species ochruros (from Turkey and Iran) which doesn't winter in central Arabia though we occasionally see gibraltariensis (from Europe).
Hypocolius were clearly still around. They are more widespread in winter in northern and central Saudi Arabia than the birds of the Middle East give them credit. I saw them 6 weeks ago on the west coast north of Jeddah.
Eastern mourning wheatear
pale crag martin
Pale crag martin is already breeding and this time last I saw barn swallow with young at Al Hayer. Indeed the local barn swallow start breeding before many of their more northerly passage relatives have flown over.
pale crag martin on a nest
Looks like Heet is one of the most eastern places in the world where yellow vented bulbul can be found. They keep mostly to the west of Riyadh (and of course all over the west coast)but Heet must be on the very edge of their range.
yellow vented bulbul
Their cousin the white eared bulbul on the other hand gets more numerous the further east you go. Both are found in Heet.
white eared bulbul
Mansur has taken some really good photos of some of the other more common residents too.
black bush robin
He also sent me pictures of collared dove and laughing dove from Heet. I noticed how prominent the blood red eye of the collared dove is.