United Arab Emirates Trip Report

Myself Ray O'Reilly and my partner Jane Fisher decided to visit the U.A.E. after our successful trip to Egypt 15 months previously. We planned to visit 1 month earlier and perhaps we should have done so

I thought that if we visited from March the 19th until April 7th 1999, we would get all the wintering stuff (bar a few) witness migration and get the summering birds.

This almost blew up in our faces because an unusually hot spring meant that most of the wintering birds had departed and apart from a fall on the morning that we arrived we witnessed few passerine migrants after the first week.

On top of this many of the pools in the new 6-month-old shell birdwatching guide to the U.A.E. by Richardson and Aspinal had dried up and were birdless.

This shows how quickly a site guide can change

However the book is excellent and no one can consider a birding trip here without a copy

The other thing about the site guide was that the sites were immense we often arrived at them totally overawed at their size.

I will here try to tell you exactly where we birded although I will try not to duplicate information that is already in the site guide.

I feel that unlike Lesbos that I had visited last spring the U.A.E. on a birding trip would be quite unsuitable for children, mainly due to the heat and barren landscape with little shade.

The last week we were there the temperature was around 41 degrees centigrade we both got sunburn even using factor 25 suncream! The cool parts of dawn and dusk were very brief and often shrouded in fog.

We stayed in Dubai in the area of Deira although this meant a few long drives no-where further than 150 kilometers.

It also provided us with affordable accommodation 130 Dirhams per night for a double room plus 10 Dirhams with an evening Arabic meal

We felt that many of the outlying districts would be dull after sunset. An early start was the norm up at 5am with the chants of the Holy Koran usually arriving at sites for either dawn or early morning slightly later.

Fuel was unbelievably cheap a full tank cost around 25 Dirhams (less than a fiver) also the majority of fuel stations have cafeterias on the forecourts. Other prices in the U.A.E. were extremely cheap a large bottle of mineral water cost 1 Dirham and 600 millilitres of coke also 1 Dirham.

We hired a Toyota from budgets it was very reliable and took us up all the tracks we wanted to go.

A good tip is to buy a windscreen shade for your car otherwise you will not be able to touch the steering wheel or gear stick without burning your hands. Finally special thanks must go out to local birders Clive Saunders and Alison McPhillips who helped us tremendously throughout the trip their friendship was second to none.

We saw 196 species in the wild several of which are quite rare in the W.A.F. this made this one of the best birding trips I personally have attended in 30 years birdwatching.

The sites

Creekside park (page 17 site guide)

The first site that we visited as I work at Creekside Depot in London this was an obvious choice.

We paid our 5 Dirhams at the gate and entered the park around the car park we had our first Palm Doves, Common Mynahs, House Crows, Red-vented Bulbuls, Crested Larks, Ring-necked Parakeets, Grey Francolins, Collared Doves whilst Pallid Swifts wheeled overhead.

Once inside the park it was obvious that a fall had occurred migrants were everywhere scattered over the grassy areas, perched on signposts, lights, and filling the trees.

We made our way to the river and birded the trees that were adjacent other new residents caught our eye White-cheeked Bulbul, Indian Silverbill, Pied Starling, Alexandrine Parakeet, and Purple Sunbird.

Migrants included Northern, and Pied Wheatears, Tree Pipit, Woodchat and Isabelline Shrikes, Yellow and White Wagtails, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Hoopoe, Whimbrel, and several Redstarts including the flashy Ehrenberg's race.

Best of all were the 5 Semi-Collared Flycatchers 4 Cocks and 1 hen. We birded here for most of the morning and never returned.

Dubai Sewage Farm (not in the site guide)

In my opinion the U.A.E.’s premier site, we made several visits throughout the trip providing me with quite a few lifers this site is located out on the Hatta road from Dubai turn right just after the sewage treatment plant works sign opposite the filter beds on the left is a sandy track to the right drive down here past some building on the right behind these was a compost drying area alive with flies but great for migrants Black and Blue-headed Wagtails, Rock Thrush, Red-rumped Swallows, lots of Waders and the only White-throated Robin of the trip.

Here the track bends left and in front of you are the gravel pits filled with sewage water both White-tailed Plovers and Red Wattled Lapwings were seen every visit Ducks, Grebes, Waders, and Pratincoles dwell here.

The filter beds back on the road have Wood and Green Sandpipers, Kentish Plovers, and Temminck's Stints.

Another area is the fodder fields by where the lorries discharge their waste bear left just off the highway and proceed to the main gate (these are only open mornings from 8am but not Fridays)

This site is better in winter but I still saw White Storks here. For passerine migrants the dip by the gravel pits was superb.

Emirates Golf Course (page 18 site guide)

The most famous site in the country it was not at all as 1 expected having far more vegetation and being much larger.

A favourite route for us was to park in the overspill car park and then walk towards the staff compound go through the compound across the dry flat area onto the exterior fence then follow the fence left until you reach the main pool what the guide calls the wetland sanctuary bird around the back of the pool and surrounding areas here are Pintail Snipe, then through the open gate and follow the sand track across the middle of the golf course, this walk takes you through some trees that are good for migrants such as Masked Shrike and Cinereous Bunting there are also some rough areas and smaller pools to be scoped.


Also beware of flying golf balls.

This track leads back to the clubhouse via a snack bar that does pricey hot dogs and ice cold pepsi after that walk you will be ready for them. Another good tip here is to take the track to the dried up sandgrouse pools then follow the outside perimeter fence until you reach the wetlands sanctuary climb the small sand dune and scope the pool in the superb morning light afterwards follow the fence line around the course checking for migrants and back to the Sheik Zayeed road the Abu Dhabi-Dubai freeway.

Jebel Ali hotel gardens (page 21 site guide)

This site is best early mornings park in the golf course car park and birdwatch around the trees by the driving range behind the tennis courts walk alongside the marina and check the main hotel car park trees where the peacocks are walk up towards the viewing area and check the pleasant little fenced flower bed here we had Wryneck, Masked Shrike and Semi-collared Flycatcher also check the main golf course from here although we saw few birds.

Ghantoot plantation (page 22 site guide)

Do not enter through the main gates as per site guide as these can be locked and you could get stuck inside this hot inhospitable site

We found it was best to park outside the perimeter fence by the bizarre palace hotel and enter through the hole in the fence

The best area for Grey Hypocolius was the end corner by the road where you parked by the palace arrive around 4pm and wait until dusk.

New cargo airport near ghantoot (not in site guide)

This area is adjacent to the perimeter fence next to the yet to be built cargo airport between Ghantoot and Jebel Ah at the currently being built intersection bridge across the Sheik Zayeed road (the only one here) turn right onto the track (going towards Dubai) the track here is a bit bumpy at first but soon becomes fine follow the track along the fence line for around 8 kilometers until you reach the camel track the gap in the camel track is marked with U.A.E. flags go through this gap and the sandy track bears left and follows the airport fence line here you can easily see the control tower inside the fence follow this fence to the end and bird the area that buts up the side here we saw Hoopoe and Bar-tailed Desert Larks display flighting this also a good spot for Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse.

Beware it is extremely hot here take plenty of water and don't loose the track Do not consider visiting this site apart from mornings, as there can be few humans here to help in the event of a breakdown.

Qarn Nazwa (page 42 site guide)

Pronounced carn nazwa we were unable to reach the big white boulders the guidebook says park by at the small wadi only a 4-wheel drive jeep type vehicle could have crossed the dune to get to them.

We parked where the sand dune appears and walked across the soft sand for about 75 meters we birded the bushes at the foot of the qarn and turned the corner here is a paved highway walk along the edges birding

Across the road is a small acacia plain this is worth a look the trees here had Upcher's Warbler (Desert) Lesser Whitethroat and Pied Wheatears

If you are having trouble with Pale Rock Sparrow they fly each morning

westwards between 8-9:3Oam. Wait at the Eagle Owl site

Also check the small acacia plain behind here.

Lahbab fields (page 42 site guide)

We were lucky enough to visit this site soon enough after the previously mentioned fall.

We had no problems with gaining entry and nobody questioned us once inside The sprinkler heads were covered with birds sometimes 2 or 3 per sprinkler there were Wheatears, Larks, Shrikes, Pipits, Lesser Kestrels and Indian Rollers perched on top.

We turned left at the fodder fields walked the edges for about 1 kilometer then cut through a track to the rear of the fields we then followed the fence line right until the track that leads back through the fields via the large barn The area around the barn was excellent with both Tawny and Water Pipits running around and perching on sprinkler heads we enjoyed the shade of the barn as we quenched our thirst with mineral water and looked over the fields.

Masafi wadi (page 51 site guide)

The site of the greatest find ever alas not by us but by some Finnish birders who had visited the previous winter

They found a Blue and White Flycatcher out on the huge birdless acacia plain Adjacent to where you park at the foot of the wadi its hats off to you lads. We birded the site guide wadi and several small off wadis we saw different races of Lesser Whitethroat, Red-rumped Swallow, Rock Thrush, Menetries and Upchers Warblers Arabian Babblers, Kestrels and Desert Larks. But quite a different wadi about 1.5 kilometers away on the road to Dibba was equally good

Drive back along the track to the main Masafi-Dibba road and turn right drive for around 1 kilometer and you will see a faded J & P sign on the right continue past this sign until you see the next crash barrier on the left here is a track on the right leading up the wadi drive up here park and proceed on foot this wadi is more open here we saw Hume's and Pied Wheatears, Little Owl, Lichtenstein's Sandgouse, Scrub Warbler, and the broom handle-billed Long-billed pipits.

Fujeirah motel beach (not in site guide)

A lovely location on the Arabian Sea flocks of seabirds sit on the shoreline Sooty Gulls are abundant also White-cheeked,Common,Sandwich and Lesser Crested terns many of the common types where in non breeding plumage but the few full breeding plumaged adults were easily identifiable. Unfortunately as the day warms up locals drive up and down the waters edge in their 4 wheel drives

You can drive a normal saloon car virtually to the shoreline

Finally if you are thinking of taking a dip to cool down the water here is like a warm bath I had to dive to around 2 meters to obtain some coolness.

Khor kalba (page52 site guide)

Many of the coastal sites in the U.A.E. are dependent on the tide times this is a low tide site.

The tide times can be found out each day by buying 1 of the 2 English newspapers the Gulf News or the Khaleej Times these have tide times for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Khor Fakkan the persian and Omani gulfs tide times vary vastly.

To obtain these newspapers they can be bought from the Indian lads at traffic tights for 2 Dirhams few shops seem to sell them with them you can even get the football results back home the next day.

The paper that ran the twitchers news is now defunct, as is the birdline. Right then having sorted out your tide time to arrive at low tide. We found the best areas to be the gap in the mangroves (as per site guide) Here we easily saw on both visits White-collared Kingfisher, Clamorous Reed and Booted Warblers (sykes' race) and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

The two warblers both readily come to pishing.

The track to the mangrove gap leads over a fiat area with some low vegetation here we saw Desert Wheatear, Desert Warbler, and Black-crowned Finch-Lark.

The beach here is much the same as Fujeirah motel beach

After crossing the bridge mentioned in the site guide turn left and follow the Khor stopping to check the waders Khor Kalba is a very good site for both Terek Sandpiper and Greater Sandplovers and you will see several more familiar species too including eastern race Curlews with ridiculously long bills.

Carry on this track until the end going towards the breakwater where the fishermen leave their nets to dry, Offshore here is a sandspit crammed full of gulls and terns including Crested and Lesser-crested.

Indian Pond Herons can be found by turning right over the bridge and scanning the mangrove edges.

if you are stuck for Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse then the area between the Khor and the beach is worth a try.

Kalba plain (page 54 in site guide)

This site is superb for two species in particular Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and Yellow-throated Sparrow.

As other areas some of the pools had dried up but the best area was drive past Khor Kalba on the main Fujeirah-Oman road just before Khatmat Malaha there is an Adnoc fuel station with a right turn just before you arrive at the fuel station turn right up here and drive for about 500 meters park up and proceed on foot the Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters perch on the telegraph wires on the left is a small football pitch walk around the pitch and look for Yellow-throated Sparrows they even perch on the floodlights and come down to the pitch to take grit.

Don't waste your time looking for them at Mushref National Park there they are sporadic and elusive.

Ramtha tip (page 32 in site guide)

We birded all the areas in the site guide but we found a different area to be the best. Continue straight across the onion water tower roundabout past

The main lagoon towards Ras Al Khaimah and turn right by the new big silver tanks drive up here and check the rubbish filled pools on the left Whiskered Terns hawk over and Curlew Sandpipers sift about the stinking rubbish. Continue up the road for about 1 kilometer and you will see a warehouse with green doors (the only ones) opposite the road on the right is a brand new red and white pylon.

Walk past the pylon and explore this area here we had some gripping stuff for instance White-winged Black Tern, Citrine Wagtail, Striated Heron, Ruddy Shelduck, and lots of waders Green,Wood, and Marsh Sandpipers Temminck's and Little Stints, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers.

This was the only site we had Steppe Grey Shrike and it was in song.

Umm al qawain (page 35 site guide)

We birded two areas here one was as entering town on the main road take the corniche coast road alongside the khor until you reach a boat yard on the right check the buoys offshore here we found only Great Cormorants however further up the corniche road where the fisherman’s huts are is some sand spits offshore on an opposite island this is a low tide site.

On these spits we had Socotra Cormorant and around the huts our only Great Black-headed Gulls of the trip.

The other area we looked at is mentioned in the site guide park by the agricultural and fisheries research centre and walk up the beach to the breakwater.

Socotra Cormorants are easy here and on the lighthouse/buoys were Lesser-crested and Crested Terns.

The shoreline is good for waders especially Whimbrel and for your trip list Sanderling.

Khor al Beidah (page 34 site guide)

This site must be visited as the tide becomes high and then starts to ebb. We birded the sand dunes and the whole of the khor the Great Knot was in with Bar-tailed Godwits on the near shore where the mangroves start we walked out to the waders and obtained extremely close views.

The khor is excellent for commoner waders such as Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Turn stone, Curlew Sandpipers, Kentish, Grey, and Ringed Plovers, Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwits.

Khor Al Beidah is also excellent for much rarer species Great Knot, Marsh Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Sandplovers and Terek Sandpipers.

This was also the only site we saw the wonderful Crab Plover.

We also saw more Reef Herons here than anywhere else.

The dunes were also good for passerines large flocks of Black-crowned Finch Larks, Hoopoe larks, Isabelline Wheatear and Isabelline Shrike other birds seen here included Osprey, Sparrowhawk, and Gull-billed Terns.

Jebel Hafeet (page 45 site guide)

The directions to the jebel are as the book says follow the purple signs when entering Al Am.

We visited the site twice once early morning and then an afternoon visit.

We found the summit the premier place especially the two car parks at the top, The car park opposite the palace was very productive go up the stone steps bird the car parks and walk up and down the main road species here included Pale Crag Martin, Barbary Falcon, Sand Partridge, House Bunting, Desert Lark and also several Wheatears namely Hooded, Hume1s, and Desert.

This was also an excellent site for scavengers Brown-necked Ravens and Egyptian Vultures.

Ain al fayda (page 47 site guide)

This site was very disappointing yet again we found most of the pools dried up and the one remaining pool hosted just Little Grebe, Moorhen, Pale Crag Martin and Reed Warblers.

Al Ain sewage works (page 47 site guide)

As the previous site most of the beds were dried out.

We asked at the gate and were allowed in we drove slowly around the sludge beds looking at the ones with water on (few).

Birds we saw here included Isabelline Shrike,Isabelline Wheatear, Red­Wattled Lapwing and numerous White Wagtails.


Al Ain camel track (page 47 site guide)

One of the best places in the country for watching birds it far outshone Al Wathba camel track.

You can take your car onto the tracks that run around the camel track and across the fodder fields drive slowly around stopping at likely spots exploring on foot and scanning the fields.

Also the car park by the main grandstand and the grandstand lawns, fences, and flowerbeds can be productive here we had Pied Stonechat and Grey Hypocolius. The fodder fields we found this to be the best site in the country for Pallid Harriers.

Also drive the tracks about 1 hour after sunset especially at the back (furthest away from the grandstand) where the rough area meets the fodder fields here we had Egyptian Nightjars sitting on the track and hawking insects in the car headlights we also had 4 Collared Pratincoles (we had seen them hawking over the fodder fields in the afternoon.)

Other species seen here (during daylight) were Isabelline and Pied Wheatears, Indian Roller, Tawny, Water and Red-throated Pipits, Short-toed, and Black-crowned Finch Larks we also saw Corn Buntings at this site.

Za'abeel fish ponds (page 18 site guide)

In the directions for finding the ponds in the site guide note that after driving between the 2 palaces you will end up back on a paved road complete with roundabouts before you actually reach the fish ponds.

As the book states you will certainly be approached by armed police/army. They will decide how long you can stay that is IF they let you stay. If allowed then walk up and down between the ponds checking the edges and trees you should immediately see Golden-backed Weavers their nests overhanging the ponds.

Look for passerine migrants in the trees.

A good little area not to be missed are two little sewage pools opposite the far end fishpond here we had Citrine Wagtail and Green Sandpiper.

The ponds themselves yielded Indian Pond, and Night Herons Great White, and Little Egrets, Egyptian Geese, Garganey, Bluethroat and Pied Starlings and the ponds are alive with Great Cormorants.

Khor Dubai (page 15 site guide)

This is a high tide site and also the most important site for several species namely Caspian and Gull-billed Terns, Lesser Sand, and Pacific Golden Plovers, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Eagle and of course Greater Flamingos.

The best part of the khor are the pools (tidal) out on the Hatta road at high tide here they are teeming with Waders, Gulls, and Terns.

Also drive the tracks around the khor.

DO NOT STRAY OFF THE TRACKS we saw a 4-wheel drive bogged down to its axle.

Another good area is by the yacht club it was there we saw an Osprey eating a fish on top of the reserve sign.

The khor is a dead loss at low tide.

Wadi beah (page 40 site guide)

The all weather road mentioned in the site guide we found degenerated into an impassable track for a saloon car if we had wanted to keep our exhaust pipe. We went as far as we could and then continued on foot checking the scrub, wadis, and acacia plain we did poorly seeing only (Desert)Lesser Whitethroat, Hume's and Pied Wheatears Yellow-vented Bulbuls and lots of Desert Larks. The Wadi Beah lake produced at least 25 Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse that came to drink at dusk.

Al Wathba camel track (page 30 site guide)

We parked in the main grandstand car park birded the edges and went down to the fodder fields we walked left towards the ladies stand and on the edge Of the fodder fields we then headed across the fields via a track and walked until we reached the rough bit, we turned left and followed the rough part towards the camel track on reaching the track we birded back to the ladies stand crossed the camel track climbed the hill and looked around the wooded area adjacent to the ladies stand car park.

We then checked the wood between both grandstands this wood was full of Lesser Whitethroats but little else.

On the camel track fodder fields we saw Red-rumped Swallow, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Quail, Pacific Golden Plover, Pallid Harrier, and Hoopoe Larks.

This really is a fine site for Chestnut-bellies but arrive before 9;30a.m. or you will struggle to get it.

Mushref Palace gardens (page 23 site guide)

We arrived and parked in the main car park and took a stroll around the gardens, which are like a public park.

We found the best area left of the palace as you enter looking straight ahead at the roundabout.

Here is a plantation with some run down overgrown patches take the side track running parallel to the palace this has some trees either side of the track and some derelict buildings.

This was the only site in the U.A.E. where we saw four species of Bulbul including the dandy Red-whiskered.

Also the only site on the Persian Gulf we saw Yellow-vented. The five singing Olivaceous Warblers were the only ones of the trip. Another nice bird here was a cock Semi-collared Flycatcher. Beware of the soldiers here be sensible and do not use a scope.

Al Ghar lake (page 28 site guide)

Alas we could find no way onto this site we had heard that the Ghar was closed to birders but we thought we would give it a try anyway. It is an unfortunate fact that in many parts of the globe their answer to a nature reserve is to simply put a fence around an area and close it.

Al Ghar lake was fenced off from afar only a small part of it could be scoped from the road and at that range only Flamingos could be picked out. This was a great shame as we were really looking forward to visiting this reserve.

Mushrif National Park (page 20 site guide)

A couple of the sites we visited only in. the afternoon were a bitter

disappointment for instance here and Wadi beah.

When we visited the park the fall that had greeted us on arrival in the U.A.E. had long since past and the few migrants that had lingered had now moved on. The only migrant we found all afternoon was a solitary Rock Thrush. We also looked for Yellow-throated Sparrows but we did not get a sniff of them.

The area in the site guide for Striated Scops Owl in front of the administration office was the most disturbed site that I have ever tried for a new bird at. As dusk approached and then became night the area became more and more disturbed we had already had a poor afternoons birding and were feeling quite miserable when 2 goalposts were set up right in front of the floodlights where the owls are meant to perform just when we thought things couldn't get any worse a kid arrived with a well stocked cap gun firing it every few seconds. With nothing calling we decided to stroll amongst the few trees on the green whilst shining the torch into them.

What greeted us was the bird of the trip right in front of us right out in the open we could see every feather in the torchlight as it sat there it started to call.

We drove back to Deira on air birding can give you all the highs and lows of a major cup final.

I know I've done both.

Fujeirah dairy farm (page 56 site guide)

The farm is actually in Dibba and also actually in the Emirate of Sharjah so confusingly named.

The two visits we made (one with dive) we had no problems entering the farm we were even able to park in the shade.

We walked around the farm buildings and the cattle pens teeming with flies and 3 species of Wagtails we moved on to the flooded drainage ditch we then set off across the fodder fields in the direction of Dibba through grass of around 6" high until we reach the far field that is slightly flooded by the far boundary fence the same fence you would have reached if you had just continued straight after entering the farm gates.

We then turned left walking alongside the fence checking both the fodder fields and the acacia trees just the other side of the fence.

Finally when parallel with the cow pens cut across with a rough rocky area on the right we made a final check of the cow pens and departed.

The dairy farm produced some superb birds such as Blyth's and Richard's, Pipits on view together at the same time.

We also saw Red-throated Pipit, White Stork, Pintail Snipe, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Wagtail, Pied Stonechat, Pale rock Sparrow and all three species of Bee-eater.

Hanging Gardens wadi (page 50 site guide;)

A lovely site but unfortunately we visited in a migrant lull.

We still had two species we had only seen once previously House Bunting and Plain Leaf Warbler and after a pleasant morning in fine surroundings we drove from here to Mahdah looking for lappet-faced vulture but failed to see any raptors.

Jebel Rawda (page 43 site guide)

We followed the track to the end and made a large sweep of the base of the jebel during the walk we saw several (Desert)Lesser whitetroats, Arabian Babblers and Southern Grey Shrikes.

We also had two new birds for the trip a Steppe Eagle drifted low over head.

Later we had wonderful views of the diminutive Plain Leaf Warbler.

Hamraniyah Fields (page 38 site guide;)

Here we found the best area to be the small fodder fields behind the eppco petrol station mentioned in the guide.

We saw Cattle egrets, Lesser Kestrels and Corn buntings during a short walk amongst them.

There is a fenced off area with some goat pens this is worth a look as we saw some Bank Mynahs here.

On the roundabout with the palm trees on it (seeable from the fuel station) we found three cock Spanish Sparrows amongst the House Sparrows. We looked in other areas but failed to find any migrants.

Jazeirah park (Sharjah) (not in site guide;)

A very beautiful park located on an island in the middle of khor Khalid As you approach the park flowers on the roundabout say "smile you're in sharjah" and after a stroll around this park we had plenty to smile about. It looks perfectly placed for migrants and if we had visited at the beginning of the trip who knows what we may have seen? We still found some very pleasant residents seen exceptionally well in superb light.

Jazeirah park was the only site we found Masked Weavers there is a colony behind the mosque.

During a stroll through the park we saw Hoopoe, Caspian Tern, and Night Heron. We also had splendid views of Pallid Swifts drinking at 1 of the paddling pools.

We also found this park to be exceptionally good for Pied Starlings we saw more here than anywhere else.

Ras Dibba (page 54 site guide)

No rare seabirds here! In fact only three birds here!

1 Osprey 1 Socotra Cormorant, and 1 Common Sandpiper

Dibba Harbour and Pools (page 55 site guide)

Dibba is actually in both the U.A.E. and Oman several of the sites we visited are actually in Oman in the adjacent Omani areas there are no boarder patrols And the Omani shops accept Dirhams.

The beach next to the harbour is alive with some amazing crabs scuttling about.

The only birds here were 1 Sooty Gull and Lesser-crested Tern. The non-tidal pools were dried up but the tidal pools had 1 Terek and 2 Green

Sandpiper's also 2 (eastern) Curlews, odd Reef Herons were feeding in these pools also. In Dibba town Pale Crag Martins were flying/nesting under the eaves like house martins back home.

Al Mamzar Dark (page 21 site guide)

Like jazeirah park a truly beautiful park and also perfectly placed for migrants

Even during the migrant lull we managed Redstarts, Bee-eater, Hoopoc and

Little Ringed Plovers.

This was also the only site away from the fishponds that we saw Golden-

backed Weaver.

Safa park (page 20 site guide)

Our final site although we did have another look at the wetland sanctuary at The Emirates golf course our last scoped bird being the beautiful White-tailed Plover.

As we also found out on the opening day of the trip at creekside park only one

Entrance to park was open with no signs at the other closed entrances saying so.

We stood there outside like lemons before the penny dropped, we at last found the open entrance on Al Wasl road.

Once inside we headed towards the boating lake and immediately had a new Bird for the trip a very obliging Purple Heron happily feeding out in the open Here we also had Night Heron and in the reeds what looked like a Whydah, And even stranger a Widow bird.

A smart kingfisher cockily sat on a reed occasionally diving into the water Yet again this park was migrantless (apart from 1 redstart;)

The best laugh of the trip was the area signposted Bird Sanctuary this had Absolutely no habitat and no birds just a fence around a pond without any vegetation.

It was from here that we made our way back to the airport.

The Birds.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficilis;)

A common bird throughout the trip, highest numbers at Dubai Sewage Farm.

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Singles seen all in breeding plumage.

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

1 Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

1 Ramtha Tip 23/3/99

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Seen at several sites but most commonly at Za'abeel Fish ponds

16 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

12 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 1/4/99

Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)

16 tfmm Al Qawain 27/3/99

1 Umm Al Qawain 23/3/9

I Ras Dibba 5/4/99

Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The best site for this species is undoubtedly Za'abeel Fish Ponds.

21 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

12 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 1/4/99

1 Jazierah Park 4/4/99

1 SafaPark7/4/99

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)

Only 2 seen on the whole trip.

1 Fmirates Golf Course 20/3/99

1 Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii)

Fujeirah Dairy Farm being the top site.

6 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

2 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 5/4/99

1 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

1 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Abu Dhabi being the prime site.

2 Abu Dhabi grass verge 28/3/99

2 Hamraniyah Fields 1/4/99

One Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Reef Heron (Egretta gularis;)

A common bird in all coastal areas both light and dark phases especially the khors commonest on Khor Al Beidah and Khor Dubai

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Za’abeel Fish Ponds was the best site for this heron.

Smaller,slimmer, and daintier looking then the previous species especially the bill.

We only saw this species at freshwater sites.

5 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

4 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Great White Egret (Egretta alba)

Again Za'abeel Fish Ponds the favorite site.

3 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

1 Ramtha tip 23/3/99

1 Khor Al Beidah 23/3/99

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea;)

Commonly seen throughout the trip both freshwater and coastal sites.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

Only seen on the very last day and then two, oh well that's birding for you.

1 SafaPark7/4/99

1 Emirates Golf Course 7/4/99

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

Fujeirah Dairy Farm the premier site.

8 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/-5/4/99

2 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

2 Emirates Golf Course 1/4/99

1 Khor Dubai 26/3/-29/3/99

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

At least 400 at Khor Dubai throughout the trip

50 at Al Ghar Lake 28/4/99

12 at Emirates Golf Course throughout the trip.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Two very flighty individuals seen swimming amongst domestic geese.

2 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)

A fine pair seen.

2 Ramtha Tip 4/4/99

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Seen throughout the trip.

5 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3-2/4/99

4 Emirates Golf Course 20/3-7/4/99

Teal (Anas crecca)

The commonest duck of the trip, Seen at vii4ually all freshwater sites.

Mallard (Anas patyrhnchos)

The second most common duck also seen at most freshwater sites.

Pintail (Anas acuta)

Seen fairly commonly at most freshwater sites especially Dubai Sewage Farm.

Ramtha Tip and Emirates Golf Course.

Garganey (Anas querquedula)

One duck at Za'abeel Fish Ponds 1/4/99

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Also a common duck seen throughout the trip at most freshwater sites.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

5 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

4 Emirates Golf Course 20/3-7/4/99

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron perenopterus)

10 Jebel Hafeet 31/3/99

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Commonly seen most days throughout the trip for instance,

3 Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

1 Male Al Am Camel Track 3/4/99

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Seen throughout the trip. About equal numbers of males and ringtails.

4 Al Am Camel Track 24/3-3/4/99

2 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 29/3/99

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 5/4/99

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Singles seen throughout the trip.

1 Qarn Nazwa 21/3/99

1 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

1 Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 27/3/-l/4/99

Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

Only seen at Khor Dubai.

2 Khor Dubai 26/3/99 Khor Dubai 27/3/99

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)

1 Jebel Rawda 29/3/99

Osprey (Pandion hahaetus)

2 Khor Dubai 26/3-4/4/99

1 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

1 Ras Dibba 5/4/99

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

We saw some truly fine males.

13 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

3 Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

2 Hamraniyah Fields 1/4/99

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

The commonest raptor seen throughout the trip especially in wadis also in some towns for instance Dubai.

Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides)

One scoped perched in exceptional light.

1 Jebel Hafeet 24/3/99

Pheasant (Phasianus coichicus)

Two cocks seen.

1 Zababeel Fish Ponds 1/4/99

1 Al am Camel Track 3/4/99

Sand Partridge (Ammoperdix heyi)

Seen calling.

5 Jebel Hafeet 24/3/99

Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)

Easily the commonest gamebird of the trip being abundant on the Persian gulf side.

Quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Actually being easy to see at Fujeirah Dairy Farm.

3 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/-5/4/99

1 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Common at all fteshwater areas.

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Common at all khors throughout the trip.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

Common at all freshwater sites especially Dubai Sewage Farm.

Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola)

15 Khor Al Beidah 23/3-27/3/99

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

4 Al Am Camel Track 3/4/99

2 Dubai Sewage Farm 27/3-29/3/99

1 Fuleirah Dairy Farm 5/4/99

Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)

An exquisite bird only the second U.A.E. record.

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 29/3-2/4/99

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

Very common throughout the trip seen ftom the first and up until the last day.

12 Creekside park 19/3/99 for instance.

Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Common especially on all the khors.

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)

Extremely common everywhere even seen in the desert.

Several birds were of an off white leucistic plumage.

Lesser Sandplover (Charadrius mongolus)

Seen on all the khors but the top site was Khor Dubai with over 2,000 counted.

Many in gorgeous breeding plumage.

Greater Sandplover (Charadrius leschenaultii)

Also seen at all the khors but in much smaller numbers with quite a few in

breeding plumage.

12 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

10 Khor Al Beidah 23/3/99

10 Khor Dubai 26/3/99

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Several birds in breeding plumage.

87 Emirates Golf Course 1/4/99

46 Khor Dubai 4/4/99

11 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Commonly seen at all the khors and also less commonly seen at inland sites.

White-tailed Plover (Chettusia leucura)

4 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3-4/4/99

1 Emirates Golf Course 25/3-7/4/99

Red-wattled Lapwing (Hoplopterus indicus)

Abundant in the U.A.E. no ornithologist could leave the country without its raucous look-what-he-done. Call embedded forever in their memory.

Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris)

One of the trips highlights one superb bird in full breeding plumage.

1 Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

Sanderling (Calidris alba)

5 Umm Al Qawain 27/3/99

8 Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

1 Khor Dudai 4/4/99

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

incredibly common at both fresh and salt water sites often in their hundreds.

Termminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)

Seen at almost every freshwater site highest count

12 Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

Unbelievably common especially at Khor Dubai where we stopped counting at 2,000.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

Common on all the khors less so inland a prime site was Khor Al Beidah

Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)

Usually with Lesser Sandplovers very spangled looking.

150 at Khor Dubai 26/3/-4/4/99

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Seen at all freshwater sites throughout the trip the prime site being Dubai

Sewage Farm.

58 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3-4/4/99

Common Snipe (Gallingo gallingo)

Common at all freshwater sites often in close proximity with Pintail Snipe.

Pintail Snipe (Gallingo stenura)

3 Emirates Golf Course 20/3-3/4/99

2 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Only a handful of sighting although many of them is pleasant breeding


5 Ramtha Tip 23/3-4/4/99

3 Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

2 Khor Dubai 4/4/99

2 Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)

Common at all khors almost all birds Red especially common at Khor Al


Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Seen at several sites including our first morning at Creekside Park.

However the prime site was.

10 Khor Al Beidah. 27/3/99

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Seen at several sites throughout the trip including several with ridiculously

long bills. (race orientalis) this race was seen as follows

2 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm (with 4 arquatas) 30/3/99

2 Dibba Pools 5/4/99

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)

Suprisingly uncommon although one of the few seen was in spectacular

breeding plumage.

2 Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

2 Emirates golf course 7/4/99

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Very common throughout the trip both freshwater and salt water sites.

Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)

Pairs Seen at several sites.

2 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

2 Khor Al Beidah 23/3/99

2 Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

1 Ramtha Tip 4/4/99

Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Seen commonly in small numbers most days at both salt and fresh water sites.

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

Commonly seen in small numbers at freshwater sites sometimes on the

smallest of puddles.

5 Dubai Sewage Farm 25/3/99

5 Ramtha Tip 2/4/99

Wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

More commonly seen then Green Sandpiper also at freshwater sites.

6 Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

5 Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)

Commonly seen on all the khors especially Khor Kalba and Khor al Beidah.

Common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Seen everywhere even in parks and gardens we even saw one on top of a house!

Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Fairly common on all the idlors often in breeding plumage especially Khor Dubai, Khor al Beidah and Umm Al Qawain.

Sooty Gull (Larus hemprichii)

Abundant on the coast of the Omani gulf especially at Khor Kalba and Fueirah Motel Beach.

Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyactus)

Alas only seen on one day 3 Adults and one first winter.

4 Umm Al Qawain 23/3/99

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Very common throughout the trip flocks of between 80-100 birds seen in both Creekside and Safa Parks. It was fun picking out the odd Slender-billed.

Slender-billed gull (Larus geneii)

Some lovely Pink birds.

Very common indeed on both coasts however less common inland.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuccus)

The identification of this species and the next are very problematic in the region.

Although we twice saw two birds of the extremely black-backed (Baltic Race

We also saw rather a lot of inbetweenies.

2 Fujeirah Motel Beach 22/3/99

2 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus caechinans)

Commonly seen especially at the khors.

We tried to separate the different races from time to time this left us completely baffled identification of these races are far more complex than we realize.

We probably saw (caechinans pontic gull) and also (heuglini heuglin's gull) But some looked like mixtures.

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)

Commonly seen throughout the trip at both inland and coastal sites.

Khor Dubai and Ramtha Tip are both good sites for this species.

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

Khor Dubai easily the premier site for this carrot-bill

Forty Khor Dubai 24/3-4/4/99

Smaller numbers elsewhere.

Crested Tern (Sterna bergii)

My initial thoughts after I had seen this species in Egypt was bird of the trip.

With its shaggy crest (looking like a toilet brush) in non-breeding plumage.

I was pleased to find out that Crested terns look equally as good in breeding plumage.

Eight Khor Kalba 22/3/99

Five Umni Al Qawain 27/3/99

Lesser-crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)

Thirty two Khor Kalba 22/3/99

Ten Umm Al Qawain 27/3/99

One Dibba Harbour 5/4/99

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

Commonly seen especially at both coasts.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

There were many common type terns although we could only identity the ones in full breeding plumage.

Six Fujeirah Motel Beach 22/3/99

Two Khor Kalba 5/4/99

White-cheeked Tern (Sterna repressa)

Twenty One Khor Kalba 5/4/99

Ten Fujeirah Motel Beach 22/3/99

Saunder's Tern (Sterna saundersi)

Sixteen Khor Kalba 5/4/99

Eight Umm Al Qawain 27/3/99

One Khor Dubai 4/4/99

One Dubai Sewage Farm 25/3/99

Whiskered tern (Chidonias hybrida)

Nearly all of these terns in full breeding plumage.

Ramtha Tip easily the best site for whiskereds although we saw them hawking over the immaculate grass verges and roundabout around Sharjah.

Fifteen Ranitha Tip 23/3/-27/3/99

White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)

Three Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii)

Seen coming to drink at dusk at Wadi Beah.

Twenty-Five Wadi Beah 26/3/99

One Masafi Wadi 30/3/99

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus)

250 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

25 Cargo Airport-Ghantoot 2/4/99

Two Cargo Airport-Ghantoot 20/3/99

Two Emirates Golf Course 3/4/99

Rock Dove (Columba livia)

A few genuine looking dove-type birds seen mainly in the more remote areas.

Feral Pigeons all over especially in towns.

Also rather a lot of racing pigeons some looking rather lost.

Collared Dove(Streptopelia decaocto)

Even commoner than back home many birds looking much browner and less greyer than our birds.

Palm dove (Strepopelia senegalensis)

Abundant one of the first birds seen when entering the country at Dubai


Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

A worrying reminder of what this country could be like in a few years time.

Abundant in pest like proportions in all but the remotest of regions.

Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)

Common in and around the Dubai parks especially common at both Creekside and Mushrif National Parks.

Striated Scop's Owl (Otus brucei)

1 Mushrif National Park 29/3/99

Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)

1 Qarn Nazwa (desert race ascalaphus) 21/3/99

Little Owl (Athene noctua)

1 Masafi Wadi 30/3/99

Egyptian Nightj ar (Caprimulgus aegyptius)

5 Al Am Camel Track 3/4/99

Common Swift (Apus apus)

With so many swifts in the U.A.E. We decided to study them at three sites where they could be seen low down in the good Arabian light.

We came to the conclusion that at Dubai Sewage Farm we had 60% Common with 40% Pallid and at Ranitha Tip 50% of each, however at Jazeirah Park 100% were Pallid Swifts.

Common Swifts looked paler than ours back home whether it was because of the bright light out here or because they are of the (Iranian race) we were not sure but the shape and the size were just like ours.

The Pallids looked bull-headed, blunt-winged and scaly.

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

Certainly the swift breeding in the towns see above for other details.

White-collared Kinfisher (Halcyon chloris)

A very tame and vocal species.

5 Khor Kalba 22/3/99

3 Khor Kalba 5/4/99

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

One Emirates Golf Course 20/3-1/4/99

One Khor Kalba 5/4/99

One Safa Park 7/4/99

Little green bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Extremely common throughout the trip quite often in the remotest of areas.

Also often seen in the company of the other two species of Bee-eaters.

Many birds showed signs of the (cyanophrys Blue-throated race).

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)

20 Kalba Plain 5/4/99

18 Khor Kalba 5/4/99

12 Kalba Plain 22/3/99

Four Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

Three Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3-5/4/99

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

28 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 5/4/99

Three Mahdah 31/3/99

Three Al Manizar Park 6/4/99

One Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)

Unbelievably common often seen in towns, even in buildings like crows.

Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

Extremely common seen everyday often in large numbers.

32 Creekside Park 19/3/99

14 Safa park 7/7/99

Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

One found by Jane climbing up a small tree Woodpecker fashion.

1 Jebel Ah Hotel Gardens 20/3/99

Black-crowned f'inch-lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)

Seen on most days throughout the trip flocks of 50 or more birds seen at Khor Al Beidah and of 30 or more at Khor Kalba.

Bar-tailed Desert Lark (Ammomanes cincturus)

6 Cargo Airport-Ghantoot.

Desert Lark (Ammomanes deserti)

Very common at all wadis and jebels at Jebel Hafeet like sparrows around the car parks eating bread.

Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)

This bird has a quite incredible display flight that is often seen.

It is also a strong runner often running out onto the mud flats at Khor Al Beidah.

Three Cargo Airport-Ghantoot. 26/3-2/4/99

Three Khor Al Beidah 23/3-30/3/99

Two Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)

10 Al Ain Camel Track 24/3-3/4/99

4 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Abundant Throughout the trip, only absent from very high country.

Sand Martin (Ripara ripara)

The commonest hirundine of the trip, seen at all freshwater sites and camel race tracks.

Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

No where near as common as we expected seen everyday but certainly not


Some ex-patriots failed to get this species on a one day bird race.

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

A truly beautiful bird.

3 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

1 Masafi Wadi 22/3/99

1 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

House Martin (Delichon urbica)

Only one seen on the whole trip.

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

Richards Pipit (Anthus richardi)

5 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/-5/4/99

Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewski)

2 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Tawny pipit (Anthus campestris)

22 Al Wathba Camel track 28/3/99

10 Al Am Camel Track 24/3-3/4/99

4 Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

Long-billed Pipit (Anthus similis)

3 Masafi Wadi 30/3/99

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

11 Creekside Park 19/3/99

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

1 Al Ain Camel Track 3/4/99

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)

4 Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

5 Al Am Camel Track 24/3/99 Emirates Golf Course 3/4/99

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

1 cock of the Black-headed race had a white supercillium looking quite


10 including both Blue and Black-headed races. Creekside Park 19/3/99

3 Cocks of the Black-headed race Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3-2/4/99

6 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

1 cock of the Blue-headed race. 2/4/99

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

The cock birds were quite resplendent.

1 Za’abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

1 Ramtha Tip 27/3/99

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

7 Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

Commonly seen throughout the trip.

32 Creekside park 19/3/99

32 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3-5/4/99

White-cheeked Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys)

Extremely common especially in the Persian Gulf coastal strip.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos)

Very common in mountainous areas and wadis much commoner on the Omani Gulf coastal strip.

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

Very common in the coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.

Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

6 Mushref Palace Gardens 28/3/99

Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

A very bonnie bird through the scope.

25 Ghantoot Plantation 20/3-28/3/99

7 Al Ain Camel Track 31/3/99

Rufous Bushchat (Cercotrichas galactotes)

1 Dubai Sewage Farm 19/3/99

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

2 Emirates Golf Course 20/3-25/3/99

1 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3/99

White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)

1 Fine cock.

1 Dubai sewage farm 21/3/99

Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

The commonest migrant especially at the trips beginning several birds of the (samamisicus race).

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

All Cocks.

3 Emirates Golf Course. 19/3/99

Pied Stonechat (Saxicola caprata)

All Cocks. These birds were the 5th, 6th and 7th Records for the U.A.E. all found by me!

Very confiding allowing close views of all birds.

1 Emirates Golf Course 25/3/99

1 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/99

1 Al Ain Camel Track 31/3/99

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)

A common migrant that seemed to linger more than other migrants.

20 Creekside Park 19/3/99

25 Al Ain Camel Track 24/3/99

20 Al Wathba Camel Track 28/3/99

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Five Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

Three Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

Two Al Ain Camel Track 24/3/99

One Creekside Park 19/3/99

Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe plesehanka)

Some spotless Cocks seen everywhere in the first week.

Twelve Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

Five Creekside Park 19/3/99

Five Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

Five Qarn Nazwa 21/3/99

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)

Some fine breeding plumaged Cocks.

Three Khor Kaiba 22/3/99

Two Jebel Hafeet 24/3/99

One Umm Al Qawain 27/3/99

Hooded Wheatear (Oenanthe monacha)

Unlike Egypt where we only saw cocks here we only saw hens.

2 Jabel Hafeet 24/3/99

Hume's Wheatear (Oenanthe alboniger)

Remarkably confiding Jane was feeding them bread in the car parks at Jebel Hafeet.

12 Jabeel Hafeet 24/3/99

2 Wadi Beah 26/3/99

3 Masafi Wadi 30/3/99

Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatillis)

The Cocks are something else!

One Qarn Nazwa 21/3/99

One Dubai Sewage Farm 21/3/99

One Masafi Wadi 22/3/99

One Mushrif National Park 29/3/99

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)

One Jebel Hafeet 24/3/99

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Four Creekside Park 19/3/99

Two Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

One Jebel Ah Hotel 20/3/99

One Ghantoot Plantation 20/3/99

Graceful Warbler (Prinia gracilis)

Abundant/Ubiquitous The commonest Warbler.

Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta)

Two Masafi Wadi 30/3/99

Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

Common in most reedbeds.

Four Am Al Fayda 24/4/99

Three Emirates Golf Course 20/3-1/4/99

Two Dubai Golf Course 21/3-2/4/99

Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentorus)

Obviously more often heard than seen however some exceptional views were obtained one bird at Khor Kalba sang obliviously in the open.

Eight Khor Kalba 22/3-5/4/99

One Khor Al Beidah 27/3/99

Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida)

Five Mushref Palace Gardens 28/3/99

Booted Warbler (Hippolais caligata)

All birds of the mangrove loving (rama sykes race).

Five Khor Kalba 22/3/-5/4/99

Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida)

Very showy for a hippolais with it's distinctive tail movements.

Five Masafi Wadi 22/3/99

Four Qarn Nazwa 21/3/99

One Kalba Plain 22/3/99

Menetries Warbler (Sylvia mystacca)

The biggest surprise of the trip we though it was going to be only slightly different from Sardinian warbler but what we got was something completely different.

Menetries also has very distinctive tail movements like a pendulum.

Two Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

One Masafi Wadi 22/3/99

One Emirates Golf Course 3/4/99

Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)

Another of the trips highlights, utterly superb with its beady white-eye.

One Khor Kalba 22/3/99

Orphean Warbler (Sylvia hortensis)

Some lovely views also with a beady white-eye.

Three Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

One Qarn Nazwa 29/4/99

Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)

Both the nominate race and the desert race seen throughout the trip the desert race seemingly preferring wadis.

Only one bird seen showing characteristics of the (Hume's race althaea)

Having a very black sardinian looking head.

One (Hume's) Qarn Nazwa 21/3/99

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

Both Cocks.

Two Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

Plain Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus neglectus)

Seen only twice.

One Jebel Rawda 29/3/99

One Hanging Gardens Wadi 31/3/99

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Extremely common especially the first week, then after seen in much lower numbers.

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

One Jebel Ah Hotel Gardens 2/4/99

Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata)

Cocks far out numbering hens, the hens having very little white in the wing.

Five Creekside Park 19/4/99

Two Emirates Golf Course 20 /3/99

One Mushref Palace Gardens 28/3/99

One Jebel Ah Hotel Gardens 2/4/99

Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps)

Commonly seen throughout the trip in Dubai for instance at Mushrif National Park.

Purple Sunbird (Nectarina asiatica)

Seen and heard everywhere sounding very willow warbler like, common in all habitats even downtown Dubai.

Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

The commonest shrike of the trip, some lovely male birds.

21 Creekside park 19/3/99

Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)

Exceptionally like Great Grey Shrike this being the middle eastern (race aucherii) The second most common shrike seen every day especially in arid areas.

Steppe Grey Shrike (Lanius pallidirostris)

Quite different from Great Grey Shrike, seen only once in song.

One Ramtha tip 4/4/99

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

A handful seen most days throughout the trip.

Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)

A delightful little shrike very approachable.

One Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

One Jebel Ah Hotel Gardens 20/3/99

House Crow (Corvus splendens)

Another absolute pest for instance at Fujeirah Dairy Farm they chase away any bird larger than itself

Abundant throughout the country.

Brown-necked Raven (Corvus rufficollis)

Again seen throughout the trip, but only in small numbers.

One seen on the Emirates Golf Course in good light clearly showed a brown-nape.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Only one sighting an adult that looked like it had been plucked from creekside depot.

One Creekside Park 19/3/99

Pied Starling (Sturnus contra)

Ten Jazeirah park 4/4/99

Six Creekside Park 19/3/99

Five Safa Park 7/4/99

Two Za'abeel Fishponds 1/4/99

One Al Manizar Park 6/4/99

Common Mynah (Acridotheres tristis)

Abundant seen as soon as we entered the country at Dubai Airport.

Bank Mynah (Acridotheres ginginianus)

25 Hamraniyah Fields 1/4/99

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Ubiquitous even seen feeding on camel dung fifteen kilometers into the desert.

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

Three Cocks Harnraniyah Fields 1/4/99

Pale Rock Suarrow (Petronia brachydactyla)

Exceptionally good views scoped at close range.

33 Fujeirah Dairy Farm 30/3/-5/4/99

4 Qarn Nazwa 29/3/99

Yellow-throated Sparrow (Petronia xanthocollis)

10 Kalba Plain 5/4/99

Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica)

Seen commonly in all types of habitat they especially love parks.

Masked Weaver (Ploceus intermedius)

21 Jazeirah Park 4/4/99

Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar)

One Cock scoped in fine light at close range.

One Dubai Sewage Farm 2/4/99

Golden-backed Weaver ( Ploceus jacksoni)

24 Za'abeel Fish Ponds 25/3-1/4/99

1 Al Manizar Park 6/4/99

House Bunting (Emberiza striolata)

Both birds cocks.

One Jebel Hafeet 24/3/99

One Hanging Gardens Wadi 31/3/99

Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea)

Yet again all birds Cocks of the (semenowi race)

Three Emirates Golf Course 20/3/99

Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)

20 Al Am Camel Track 24/3/99

12 Lahbab Fields 21/3/99

2 Hamraniyah Fields 1/4/99

Ray O’Reilly