Bulletin 25 - March 1985: Birds of the Wadi Khabb Shamsi

Birds of the Wadi Khabb Shamsi

by J.N.B. Brown

Very few species of birds have so far been recorded in the wadi, but numerous birds have been seen and heard. To date the following have been positively identified.

Black-capped or Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopyqos)

Probably the most commonly seen of all birds, and has been heard singing on numerous occasions. One nest was found in April 1984 with three eggs. The eggs were white with small and larger blotches of deep reddish brown. The nest was built of small twigs with a lining of fine material about three metres off the ground in an Amygdalis arabicus shrub on a summit farm at the head of the wadi.

Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica)

Regularly seen during the cooler winter months flitting around in the Ficus salicifolia trees. Males have been recorded in breeding plumage but no nests found.

Hume's Wheatear (Oenanthe alboniger)

Reasonably common high up on the sides of the wadi as well as on the summit. Its all black head, neck and back with white breast, belly and rump make it quite distinctive from all other birds in the wadi. It must breed here but no nests have been found.

Desert lark (Ammomanes deserti)

Small flocks of up to eight have been seen at times. A very non-descript bird, usually light brown in colour with no obvious markings. Again, it must breed in the area as it is seen in all months, but no nests have been found.

Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca uniquieta)

One bird has been recorded near the top of the wadi near a seasonally abandoned plantation. It probably breeds in the area.

Sand Partridge (Ammoperdix heyi)

A very shy bird that scampers away up the wadi sides if disturbed, even at a distance. Small flocks of up to twelve have been observed with some immature birds among them. Again, it is present around the year and must breed locally, but no nests have been found.

Fleeting glimpses of other species have been seen, but without positive identification.


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