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Bird in Saudi Arabia

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Old Monday 3rd November 2003, 10:38   #1
steverowe
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Bird in Saudi Arabia

I saw a bird today that I can't identify. Its not in my Collins B/G for Britain & Europe (which covers a lot of the Saudi birds), and I can't find it on the internet. I haven't got a picture of it but it was a small bird about the size of a sparrow. It had a long tail, like a wagtail, a small head and a finch like beak, quite small. The primaries and tail feathers were black and it had a white rump. I couldn't quite make out whether it had large eyes or whether it had a black ring around normal eyes. I think its upper parts were brownish. I remember the black primaries and tail mostly. Could it be an Arabian Serin? I don't know what one looks like.

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Old Monday 3rd November 2003, 10:47   #2
Michael Frankis
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Hi Steve,

Arabian Serin doesn't have a white rump.

A long tail suggests one of the waxbill allies (Estrildidae), presumably an escape from captivity - I'll check through my books and see if any of them matches

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Old Monday 3rd November 2003, 10:54   #3
Michael Frankis
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Hi Steve,

Think I've got it - Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica). Native in the far southeast of Saudi, but also some established feral populations northwest to Eilat.

Page 391 in the Collins Guide

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Old Monday 3rd November 2003, 14:57   #4
steverowe
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Thanks Michael :-) . Its the very last bird in the Collins guide. I must have overlooked it. I was thinking it might have been a South Arabian Waxbill, but again, I don't know what one looks like. There aren't any decent bird books available in Saudi Arabia. Not even for their own birds. I'm sure I could get one from Amazon but I've had too many books go missing in the erratic Saudi mail. I'll bring one back from my next leave.

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Old Monday 3rd November 2003, 14:59   #5
steverowe
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Arabian waxbill... not South Arabian. I was getting mixed up with South Arabian Wheatear.
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