New bulletin for Iran

A new bulletin, Balaban, aimed to encourage Iranian birders and ornithologists to publish results of their works in their native language and introduce a place to transfer ornithological papers, notes and news regarding Iranian birds and ornithology has been launched. This will complement Podoces. Although most of the texts are in Persian, summaries in English are provided. Small number of paper copies (30 pp, A4 sized) are available.

Socotra (Yemen) Prize for Socotra Project website

The Socotra Governance & Biodiversity Project website ( has been awarded the gold prize in the Yemen Web Awards 2009. The SGBP website received first place within the second largest category of Projects & Government Websites beating the Official Yemen Tourism & Hadhramaut Governorate Website. Winning in Yemen Web Awards means that the SGBP website has qualified for the Middle East finals to be held in Oman in May 2010.

Mheimideh under immediate threat

Mheimideh is probably the best birding site along the Syrian Euphrates; all who visit come away astonished that such a rich site can exist in the middle of a village. It has an outstanding list of breeding species, notably three RDB species of duck (White-headed Oxyura leucocephala, Ferruginous Aythya nyroca and Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris), White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus and Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola, with good numbers of Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus.

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia

The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia project reaches a very important stage this year with the publication of the Atlas. The last records were added to the Atlas in April 2010 and it will be published later this year. It will cover 273 proven breeding bird species in Arabia and a further 24 not-quite-proven breeders. For each of the breeding species there is a lengthy text arranged in four paragraph blocks.