Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Weekend

Friday saw Robin & I hammering it up to the Fujairah National Dairy Farm. We arrive bang on time, at dawn. It is grey and overcast, not much stirs. A lone female Hen Harrier, sits hunched in the field. A Eurasian Sparrowhawk passes by. But not much else, just a scattering of the usual migrants. An early Blue-cheeked Bee-eater glides overhead. Along the roadside are 60+ Pale Rockfinch and Steppe Grey & Woodchat Shrikes.

The farm, a vagrant trap
between the mountains & the coast.
Pale Rockfinch.
We enter the farm proper and meet up with Andrew Tywman. We split up and the search for migrants begins. 3 Blyth's Pipits, 2 Richards Pipits and a Siberian Stonechat being the best. Then I spot a summer plumage Sociable Plover which livens up proceedings a little. We cross the road & enter the Goat Farm, 85 Greater Short-toed Larks circle us. A distant Wryneck perches on top of a bush. A fine White-spotted Bluethroat perches for all to see. But that is about it.

It is now time to leave and drive to Khor al Beidhae for the high tide. We arrive and the birds are close. 305 Bar-tailed Godwits and 5 Great Knots being the highlights. A summer plumage Little Tern is an early migrant & a Lesser Short-toed Lark flies by. We drive home, a little disappointed from the day.

2 species added (total 244 species): 540 kms travelled.

The next day I was guiding Manfred & Annamarie Gotz in Al Ain. It was a pleasant day out, with the usual suspects on view. Strangely, there were hardly any migrants to be seen.

Annamarie & Manfred enjoying the sunshine.

The imposing Jebel Hafeet.

The road to the top of the mountain.

Zakher Pools.

Blue Rock Thrush in the garden
 of the Mecure Hotel.

A very high Barbary Falcon flew overhead, the odd Egyptian Vulture flew by. Arabian Partridge and lots of Chukars were feeding on the grass. The Environmental Agency has introduced these birds here and they are everywhere!

One of the many introduced Chukars.

1 species added (245 total): 340kms travelled. 

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