I saw neither. Indeed the session turned out to be almost entirely about birds of prey and not passerines at all.
The prize sighting in a remote wadi off Wadi Hanna while walking was an Arabian spotted eagle owl.
Arabian spotted eagle owl
This was a lifer for me and was a bird I missed seeing in Saudi Arabia.
Arabian spotted eagle owl looking two ways at once
As I was walking in a lightly wooded area I accidentally flushed the bird from very short distance.
Arabian spotted eagle owl with a bulbul
I would never have seen where it landed if it weren't for the local white spectacled bulbul. They were going frantic and their alarm calls were so loud.
I just followed the noise and found the owl five metres up a tree with bulbuls trying to mob it.
It knew I was there but didn't seem to mind from its vantage point above me.
Eastern Imperial eagle
Only minutes before I had observed two eagles flying over. One was an Eastern Imperial Eagle.
greater spotted eagle
For once they weren't being mobbed by the large local population of fan-tailed raven.
Abyssinian white eye
I did manage to see some passerines. The most common were Abyssinian white eye. The others were mostly: white spectacled bulbul, cinnamon-breasted bunting, blackstart, Rueppells weaver and Arabian warbler.
For the most part I can now separate cinnamon-breasted bunting from striolated bunting but first winter birds are still a problem sometimes. I suspect the above bird is a cinnamon-breasted bunting as I don't believe striolated bunting has any dark fringes on the wing coverts at any age. The head and throat pattern is very deceptive. I am open to suggestions on this one.
The birds of prey didn't stop coming at Wadi Hanna. On the way home but still on the hills and just past Tawi Atair were two more. The first was the palest short toed eagle I have ever seen. It was snow white in places.
pale morph short toed eagle
I took the above photo through the car window when it was close in an attempt to capture it before it flew off.
short toed eagle in flight
short toed eagle from below
The final bird of prey was a harrier seen a few hundred metres later.
For once the head pattern wasn't conclusive but taken with the pattern on the lower under-wing I can say it is a pallid harrier.
This session turned out very surprisingly.