Saturday 4 February 2012

Arabian serin at Najran

I have just spent the Saudi weekend in Najran, South West Saudi Arabia. I am very happy with the birding despite a sandstorm on the second day! I saw over 50 species and at least 2 were lifers for me. 

Najran is on the Yemen border. Its 125 kilometres from the sea but has the Asir mountain range between them. It's actually on the eastern slopes of the range. Many of the birds have more in common with East Africa than anywhere else though it is close to areas where there are known to Arabian endemics.

Its under-birded. 

I will blog my findings, hopefully starting with King Fahd park and forest, Najran. However I have posted two birds of prey I saw there on bird forum for identification. In the meanwhile. Here is a taste.

Arabian serin in King Fahd park

This bird was singing its heart out and immediately reminded me of my days in Tripoli, Libya where in spring European serin would sing outside my bedroom window. 

It's like a monochrome version of all the brightly coloured serin we have seen.

My first edition of Helms guide says Arabian serin is found above 1500 metres in the area. This one was at 1200 metres. Someone forgot to tell him what the book says. Seriously though either it disperses downwards a bit in winter or no one has looked for it in Narjan. It wasn't a fluke either. I saw and heard another in a bush next to my hotel the next morning.

Hopefully I'll be able to post more on the trip tomorrow depending on the bird identifications being completed.

No comments:

Post a Comment