Sunday, 22 April 2012

Out & about on Abu Dhabi Island

It appears to be raining birds. Migrants are turning up in unexpected places, so I thought I would try my luck, birding around the Emirates Palace Hotel. I teamed up with Robin and we set off with high expectations.
Migrants were in good numbers and the birding was quite exciting: a Eurasian Turtle Dove was a good record for the island; 5 Daurian; 4 Turkestan; and singles of both Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrikes. 9 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush were noteworthy, as were the 43 Ortolan Buntings & 21 Common Redstart. 4 Red-throated and 3 Tree Pipits; with Yellow-headed; Sykes and Grey headed Wagtails also on show. 4 Barred Warblers; 2 Willow Warbler; a Chiffchaff; a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Whinchats, with both Northern & Isabelline Wheatears also passing through. A fine male Golden-backed Weaver means that this species is still hanging on here and a young weaver sp. was also seen.
I then had to shoot off for the ADNOC HSE Awards ceremony being held in a nearby hotel. The hotel is new and spectacular! It was a very pleasant evening.

0 species added (total 277 species): 80 kms travelled.

Tuesday saw me tramping around the MPG's looking for Red whiskered Bulbul. Oscar had seen two birds recently in the Front Wood. This is a major surprise, as they haven't been recorded for quite a while now. I searched, but no joy. However, birding was excellent with a wide variety of migrants recorded:
Cuckoo; European Bee-eater; Masked Shrike; 7 Willow Warbler; 6 Eastern Olivaceous & 3 Upcher's Warblers; Barred Warbler; 2 Spotted Flycatcher; 3 Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin; a female White-throated Robin; 5 Common Nightingale; 8 Common Redstart; a fine adult male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush; Pied Wheatear; 5 Tree Pipit and an Ortolan Bunting. But, the best, was a colourful Eurasian Golden Oriole - new for my year list!
Carol & I then rushed off to get changed for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth 2 held at the British Embassy here in Abu Dhabi. And what a fine night it was! Great food and drink supplied by our Club (which is of course, The Club). They did a fantastic job, catering for 700 people!

1 species added (total 278 species): 80 kms travelled.

Robin joined me for our afternoon foray around the MPG's on Wednesday afternoon. At first, the going was slow, but we gradually picked up migrants, as we progressed around the circuit:
5 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters; European Roller; 2 Masked Shrike; both Daurian & Turkestan Shrikes; 8 Eastern Olivaceous; Upcher's warbler; 2 Eurasian Blackcap; a skulking Garden Warbler ( a scarce & difficult bird to get here in the UAE, with Abu Dhabi Island being the best site); 2 Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin; 5 Common Nightingale; Lesser Whitethroat; 6 Common Redstart and an Ortolan Bunting.

Ortolan Bunting

European Roller
Red-whiskered Bulbul!

Robin & I were very pleased to get 2 Red-whiskered Bulbuls. This is the only location for them in the UAE and I hadn't recorded them for over a year, so I feared the worst! A bit of a bonus bird for me!

2 species added (280 species total): 80 kms travelled.

Thursday was Robin's birthday! He has reached a mighty 56 summers! I bought a cake and we ate some of it in the office. The rest was taken home to be savoured by those with a more discerning palate!

Robin looking ready to eat! All of it?

1 comment:

  1. t appears to be raining birds. Migrants are turning up in unexpected places, so I thought I would try my luck, birding around the Emirates Palace Hotel.

    Khalifa City A