Recent Sighting From Middle East/Iraq

Sighting Details

Date Added: June 19, 2006

Posted by: Dr Alan Galbraith

Location: Trip from Erbil, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, through Salahadeen and Shaklawa to Bekhal Waterfall.

Sightings: Siberian Thrush. Is this the first reported from Iraq?I had actually got out of the car to see the second rock nuthatch (Western)(a stunning bird as were both species, not at all frightened when approached - they liked hopping and flying from rock to rock. I was just getting back into the car when I saw what I thought was a starling flitting about in some trees. Soon realised it was not a starling seeing the white underneath on wings and belly. Did not get my bins on it in flight though and am unsure of the bar underneath the wings. Managed to gets its head through the leaves a couple of times and eye-stripe was very obvious. Definitely a male looking more blackish than blueish though, but it was in the trees and light could have been a factor. Unfortunately bird records in Iraq are unobtainable to me at this time so far so do not know if Siberian thrushes have been seen, but they have in Israel, and to get there would almost certainly pass through Northern Iraq. Other Birds seen.Red Kite Egyptian Vulture Flying high over Bekhal WaterfallKestrel See-see Partridge In a vineyard. Pin Tailed Sandgrouse 5 flying low just outside Erbil. Collared Dove Laughing Dove Common Swift (Numerous) Pallid Swift (Numerous) Alpine Swift (Numerous)Only at Bekhal WaterfallCrested Lark Barn Swallow (Thousands) House Martin (Thousands) African Rock (Pale crag) Martin (Several hundred) Grey wagtail Pied Stonechat Mourning Wheatear Eastern Rock Nuthatch (A splendid male and female together) Western Rock Nuthatch (Very surprised to get both rock nuthatches within maybe 50 kms of each other) Woodchat Shrike Magpie Jackdaw House Sparrow Rock Sparrow (50+) Widespread in gorges. Twite (Bekhall Waterfall)Reed Bunting (Reed bed near Erbil)