Date: Jan 17, 2007
Subject: Birds in Caves
I am collecting information on the distribution of birds in the Arabian Peninsula and would be very interested in any reports of birds found in caves in Arabia, whether they were dead, roosting or breeding. I will be happy to help with identification.
The ABBA project also publishes an annual newsletter The Phoenix on breeding bird news in Arabia. A free copy will be posted to any of your correspondents who may be interested.
I saw a recent exchange of letters on your site between John Pint and James Bishop of Kuwait about the SANHS. I too am collecting SANHS publications and am seeking a current contact address for the society, so I can send them a batch of the most recent Phoenix . Do you have a current address and contact for them? Can you also let me have Dr Bishop's email address.
Co-ordinator, Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia project and Editor The Phoenix (ISSN 0268-487X)
Warners Farm House, Warners Drove, Somersham, Cambridgeshire, PE28 3WD, UK.
Tel/Fax: O1487841733; International 00441487841733.
We have found what we think are rock doves breeding in limestone and lava-tube caves in central and western Saudi Arabia. In some cases the birds are no longer present, but "guanomites" as tall as a man indicate they used the cave over a long period of time. See the "guanomite" pictures at http://www.saudicaves.com/gallery2003.html and http://www.saudicaves.com/gallery2002.html
We've also found owls breeding in some limestone caves. Will dig up some pictures and send them to you.
As for SANHS, I sent a message out to some people who may know its fate, but didn't hear anything, which leads me to suspect it may be defunct. I will know more once I arrive in Jeddah at the end of this month. Meanwhile, will CC Peter Harrigan in Jeddah, who may know whether SANHS is still active, or at least may know where their earlier publications might be purchased.