Whilst in Tabuk recently we saw a Steppe Eagle perched on an earth bank the side of the road. The bird allowed very close approach before it flew off after twenty minutes and gave some good flight views.
The species is a common passage migrant down the western side of the Kingdom with October the peak month for migrating Steppe Eagles in Saudi Arabia. Many Steppe Eagles also winter in Saudi Arabia with the Asir mountains and the Tabuk and Rabigh areas good locations to see them.
Saudi Arabia is an important wintering location for the species which has undergone extremely rapid population declines within all its range and is currently classed as ‘Endangered’ in the 2015 IUCN Red List assessment.
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.