Saturday, 25 May 2013

Black winged kite at Rabigh

Brian James who birds out of Thuwal north of Jeddah has just sent out (in the past hour) some exciting news about his trip to Wadi Rabigh this weekend.

black winged kite at Rabigh

He tells me that birding was thin but for an exceptional sighting of a black winged kite!  And there were also several African palm swift a lot further north than usual too.

second view of black winged kite

There have been occasional sightings of this species on the west coast as far north as Jeddah in recent years but this is the furthest north on this coast that I can find records of from Saudi Arabia.

Jem Babbington reported one on the east coast at Dhahran on March 29/30th 2012.

In the discussion about that one it was noted that they may breed in the Tihamah (coastal strip of south west Saudi Arabia) and associated foothills significantly further north than the Yemen outposts normally mapped in guide books. 

Furthermore, it is a bird whose range is expanding in both the west and east northward.

The Iraqi population may now have spread into south east Turkey apparently.

The question is: was Brian's sighting a vagrant or the edge of its natural, expanding but under-reported range?

1 comment:

  1. Intriguing, are there any flight shots to determine whether this bird is from the Eastern race or Western types?

    Laurie -