Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides is a rather scarce resident of the south-west highlands, but is also found in Oman, Palestine and Yemen, mainly in rocky, bushy sites but widespread on the Jebal Souda plateau, Wadi Tale’a, Pipeline Road, near Farshah, Gara’a and Tanumah.
In 1987 it was recorded more frequently so the species may have declined slightly, with disturbance not thought likely to be the reason as it is often associated with gardens and regularly breeds near human sites. Also occurs in the Tihama mainly around jebals such as Jebal Aswad and Jebal Gaha.
They nest in holes in terrace walls and feed largely on insects. They are common in the upper reaches of the Raghadan Forest and the upper parts of the Golden Tulip valley. As well as around the Wadi Thee Gazelle valley near Taif.
Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.