Monday 2 January 2012

The status of wryneck in central Arabia

Previous observers have described wryneck as a passage migrant through central Arabia.

Yet our small band of bird watchers have seen two wintering birds in the last three weeks. Clive Temple and I saw one on Wadi Hanifah between Al Hayer and Dirab three weeks ago. Clive and Abdullah Amrou saw one at Al Mansour farm near Kharj on Thursday.

wryneck at Al Mansour farm

The most recent of the two main historic recorders in the area also saw one in winter. This was out of only four seen in his (three year) time in central Arabia.

Put another way, collectively three of the six sightings of wryneck in the last few years have been in winter!

I think it is probably safe to upgrade its status to migrant and wintering bird.

Abdullah Amrou was very quick off the mark in order to photograph the wryneck at Al Mansour though he didn't have much time. Thanks to him for allowing me to show his record shots.

second picture of the Al Mansour wryneck

Incidentally Abdullah has just started a new blog at mostly written in Arabic with some English translation. Please encourage him and visit it! 

Finally, I also have some good video footage of wryneck taken this summer in Tirana, Albania.  Please visit my previous blog entry

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