Month: June 2019

A trip to Yarner Wood on Dartmoor at this time of year is always a treat, although on this occasion the weather was a little against us with low temperatures and light rain, though it did brighten up a bit in the afternoon. Pied Flycatchers are one of the main attractions here with nest boxes
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An interesting record of an Eastern (Common) Nightingale Luscinia (megarhynchos) golzii was recorded nar Jubail in early May 2019. Eastern Nightingale is sometimes regarded as a separate species from Common Nightingale and breeds in Eastern Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan & Afghanistan and they winter mainly in southern Africa. Identification differences from Common Nightingale include:
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Whilst birding recently in the Tanoumah area I came across a Snake-tailed Fringe-toed Lizard Acanthodactylus opheodurus down a tree filled wadi. The lizards were very active even during the hottest part of the day and where always found near small low-lying plants with hard sandy soil. It is superficially similar to its larger congener Acanthodactylus
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The Arabian Magpie is the only truly endemic species in Saudi Arabia, meaning it is found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and nowhere else in the world. It has a very restricted range (An Namas to Billasimer) and very low number of birds and should probably be classified as Critically Endangered on Red Data
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May in the Asir is great for birding as most if not all the African breeding species have returned and additional passage migrants can be seen as well as the resident highland birds. We saw a few passage birds including an Olive-tree Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Red-backed Shrike, Turkestan Shrike, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whinchat.
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For many companion bird enthusiasts, one of the extreme thrills they experience is the fact that small groups of birds talk (or mimic). It doesn’t take long for some species to pick up on a word, sound, or phrase. After it has learned, well…it is something you are likely to hear often. It’s quite fun
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Whilst biding the Jubail area I saw two Spur-winged Lapwings along the edge of a wet area. One of the birds appeared to be displaying to the other s there is again the chance they could breed locally. Spur-winged Lapwing The species is still scarce in the Eastern Province although good numbers have been seen
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Areally smart Common Redstart of the sub-species samamisicus which is often known as ‘Ehrenberg’s Redstart’ was seen in Jubail recently. This sub-species breeds in the southern Balkans and Greece east to Turkmenistan, south Uzbekistan and Iran and winter in north-east Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. samamisicus They are slightly greyer and darker above, with a
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Whilst birding the Jubail area in early May I can across a Whimbrel. This is not a common species in Saudi Arabia and it occurred to me there could be a very slim chance it could be a Steppe Whimbrel alboaxillaris as one has been claimed in Bahrain in recent years. Whimbrel The timing was
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I am already in Kazakhstan now with my Rockjumper group. There are many good things to say about Uzbekistan, but internet connection is not one of them. Tonight, in Almaty, is my first encounter with at least partial wifi for the last few days. Eastern Rock Nuthatch – bird with an attitude I have many
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Whilst birding the Jubail area recently I saw a few summer plumaged Dunlin, these birds are supposedly of the subspecies Calidris alpina centralis. I rarely see Dunlin in summer plumage, so took the opportunity to take a few photos and although the light was very poor but I did manage to obtain a few average
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Cat lovers rejoice. DNA testing is now available for cats, and it’s pretty pawsome! While canine DNA tests have been around since 2007, feline science, widely understudied and underfunded, has been lagging behind. Thanks to Basepaws, we’re now able to reveal the secrets hidden within feline DNA and get to know our cats on a whole
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