8 – 25 January 1995

Selected list of birds seen in Yemen (Sana’a-area)

In Sana’a in the garden of the house I stayed in, in the neighbourhood of the Khartoum Street.

During the whole period:

White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinica max. 4.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca max. 3,probably (desert) (minula).
Graceful Prinia (Warbler) Prinia gracilis 2, poss. 3 on the 12th of Jan.
Ménétries’s Warbler Sylvia mystacae 2 on the 18th of Jan, while on excursion from Sana’a to Bani Matar on the road to Hudaidah, at approximatly 35 kilometers on the road, by the villaga of Merd (?)
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta 1 in the valley of Bani Matar, (Wadi al-Ashraf?) on the 18th and 23rd Jan.
Blackstart Cercomela melanura 10-20.
Little Green Bee-eater Merop orientalis 8 subspecies cyahnophrys.
African Silverbil Euodice cantans 7-10.
Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncides 1.
Rüppells Weaver Ploceus galbula 9 + 5.
Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus 1.
Red Rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica 2.
Pale Crag Martin Hirundo obsoleta 4.
Arabian Babbler Turdoises quamiceps min. 8.

19th January – excursion by Kawkaban and Mawseet

Red-breasted Wheatear Oenanthe bottea min. 1 in the neighbourhood of the Kawkaban and Shibam-villages.
South Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides min 25 from 5 kilometers on the road to Mawseet.

At approx. 30 km on the road:-

Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens 2.
Black Redstart Phoenicures ochruros 2 of the subspecies phoenicuroides.
African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis 1 female.
Black-headed Bush-shrike Tchagra Senegala 1.

At 15 kilometers before Mawseet:-

Crested Lark Galerida cristata 9.
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica 2.

Some five kilometers further on the road:-

Yemen Thrush Turdus menachensis 1.
Red Rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica 3.

In the vicinity of Mawseet:-

Griffon Vulture Gyps falvus 2.

On 21st January, in the Rada’-area:-

Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena 3.
Desert Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca minula 8.
Little Green Bee-eater Merop orientalis cyahnophrys 7.

23th January, in the Djabal Shibam-area:-

White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinica min. 20.
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus 1.
Palestine Sunbird Nectarinia osea 4.
Scrub Warbler Scotocerca inquieta 2.


Some of the South Arabian Wheatears I first determined as Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens, seem to be South Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides after all. This Wheatear’s white on the head can extent much further on the head then is described in Birds of the Middle East and North Africa by Hollom et al. I think now that the light grey stripe around the edge of the cap and the much less conspicious white wings are much better features to determine the South Arabian from the Mourning Wheatear. Mourning Wheatear is beter determined by the conspicuous white on the wings.

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