Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My cunning plan, Baldrick!

I now need to see 50 more species to attain my goal for 2012. It is not going to be easy, but this is what I plan to do!


Abdulla’s boat is the best bet to see the following species:

Jouanin’s Petrel; Flesh-footed Shearwater; Wedge-tailed Shearwater; Wilson’s Storm Petrel; Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel; Masked & Brown Boobies; Long-tailed Skua; Brown & Lesser Noddies and Sooty Tern.

11 species + a chance of a rarity or two, like Cory’s Shearwater etc.

The Mountains:

The Hajar Mountains from Shwaib, north to the Musundam, hold some scarce and difficult species. The raptors in particular, seem to be getting rarer and harder to see, with every passing year. I am going to have to put sometime in to have any chance of seeing the following species:

Lappet-faced Vulture; Short-toed Snake Eagle; Golden Eagle and Trumpeter Finch.

4 species.

Individual species:

Lesser Flamingo – Ras Al Khor & Al Wathba Lake.

Red billed Tropicbird – best chance is off Delma Island.

White Stork – FNDF.

European Honey Buzzard – on passage in late April early May and in September.

Lesser Spotted Eagle – on passage in April. Very rare in the fall.

Steppe Eagle – Al Ain area & FNDF.

Booted Eagle – on passage FNDF.

Amur Falcon – FNDF.

Sooty Falcon – far west & Delma Island.
Corncrake – Sila area &  FNDF.

Water Rail – Ruwais, Al Wathba Lake & Al Warsen Lakes.

Black-winged Pratincole – FNDF.

Spotted Sandgrouse – Sila area and around Al Ain.

Oriental Turtle Dove – FNDF.

Barn Owl – Al Bahia & Mushrif Park in Dubai.

Short-eared Owl – Al Dibbayah and the far west around Sila.

Common Swiftanywhere.

Wire-tailed Swallow – Al Wathba Lake.

Wood Warbler – Abu Dhabi Island sites; FNDF and Safa Park.

Green Warbler - Abu Dhabi Island sites; FNDF and Safa Park

Sedge Warbler- Abu Dhabi Island sites.

Blyth’s Reed Warbler - Abu Dhabi Island sites.

Marsh Warbler - Abu Dhabi Island sites.

River Warbler - Abu Dhabi Island sites and FNDF.

Thrush Nightingale - Abu Dhabi Island sites.

Red breasted Flycatcher - Abu Dhabi Island sites, Sila and Safa Park in Dubai.

Pied Stonechat – FNDF.

Black throated Thrush – Any migration site.

Olive-backed Pipit - Abu Dhabi Island sites; FNDF and Safa Park.

Forest Wagtail - Abu Dhabi Island sites and Safa Park, Dubai.

Common Rosefinch – Sila, Abu Dhabi Island sites and FNDF.

Spanish Sparrow – FNDF.

Streaked Weaver – Al Warsen Lakes and Dubai Pivot Fields.

33 species, which are more or less recorded, each year in the UAE.

Even if one sees all of the above, I am a little short of my target!

A small percentage of the following rarities may also be expected, their occurrence varying from year to year:

Black-winged Kite; Eurasian Griffon Vulture; Steppe Buzzard; White-breasted Waterhen; Little Crake; Spur-winged Lapwing; Eurasian Dotterel; Long-toed Stint; Great Snipe; Grey Phalarope; Oriental Pratincole; Little Gull; Black Tern; Common Woodpigeon; Asian Koel; Dusky Warbler; Yellow-browed Warbler; Taiga Flycatcher; Mistle Thrush; Eurasian Siskin.

So, 330 species in one year, is a tough ask. I plan to spend time in the mountains in July (when there are few, if any migrants around) and also go on as many boat trips as possible. I need a bit of luck! My next milestone is of course, 300 species, which I hope to achieve by the end of June (please note that I am in China & Tibet for the majority of the month). I also need a fine autumn, so let us see how I get on....

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