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 list rather than its current Endangered status.
We went to the southwest mountains in the hope of locating birds as now the species is breeding or feeding newly fledged young so is easier to find.
We saw ten different birds at various locations and got some amazing views of a couple of them.
Trying to photograph the species is difficult, as they are nervous and stay in valleys with steep sides, moving up the hillside quickly when disturbed.
This trip we were lucky to see two birds close to the roadside and as we were in the car the birds were not afraid.
One came down and fed on a roadside verge allowing some good photos to be taken.
We returned the next day and had a similar experience allowing even better photos as the light was better.
Surprisingly, although the birds called a few times they remained mainly silent. Normally they call loudly to each other regularly.
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.