April as usual, was a migrant packed month, new bird coming through most days. A walk around the Emirates Palace Hotel on 5th produced: 2 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush & Turkestan; Daurian; Steppe Grey & Masked Shrikes. Quite a colourful haul.
A really smart male Masked Shrike
Male Rufous-tailed Rockthrush
Mushrif Palace Gardens on 7th, was equally productive with Wryneck, a wonderful White-throated Robin & a Woodchat Shrike on the nearby helipad. The close by Golf & Equestrian Club held 8 Purple Herons (rare on the island); a European Roller & the first Red-throated Pipit of the spring for me.
Back to the Emirates Place Hotel on the 9th & it was a feast of wagtails. The lawns were filled with them. It was hard to count, but….. 23 Grey headed; 2 Black headed; 34 Yellow headed & 425 Syke’s Wagtails. The best of the rest were, 6 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush; a massive 47 Whinchat; 12 Willow Warblers & a Red backed Shrike.
A superb male Whinchat
A cracking Lesser Grey Shrike
They don't get much brighter than this bird!
The birds were still passing by the next day & an afternoon walk around the MPG’s was very bird-filled: 23 European Bee-eaters; a Wryneck; 23 Tree Pipit; lots of wagtails, though in lesser numbers than the previous day; 2 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush; 9 Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins; 11 Common Redstart; 12 Whinchat; 5 Spotted Flycatchers; a Great Reed Warbler; an Upcher’s Warbler; 26 Willow Warblers; 3 Blackcap; 3 Common Whitethroat & a Lesser Grey Shrike in fine summer plumage. Next door at the Golf & Equestrian Club a Red-rumped Swallow; 135 Red-throated Pipits (some in wonderful plumage); 61 Tree Pipits; 19 Whinchat & 36 Ortolan Buntings. A really fine afternoon’s birding.
It is my birthday (12th) & I am guiding over at the Fujairah National Dairy Farm. It proives to be a harrier extravaganza! 2 Hen Harriers; 3 Pallids & 2 Montagu’s Harriers are knocking around. Unbelievbable! All giivng repeated views as they hunt over the fields. 28 Lesser Kestrels adorn the skies with their constant hovering. On the fields themselve are 21 Whinchat; a Red backed; 26 Turkestan; 8 Steppe Grey & 2 Woodchat Shrikes. A Yellow-throated Sparrow and 5 Pale Rockfinch complete the picture.
I am walking around the Emirates Palace Hotel grounds after work on 14th. A Crested honey Buzzard flies over; a European Nighjar is sat in a palm tree; a White-throated Robin is skulking in the undergrowth & 3 Blackcap & a very good total of 6 Barred Warblers are in the bushes.
Back at the FNDF on 19th. Plenty of migrants still around, although both variety & number have declined a little: 26 Lesser Kestrel; 8 Common Quail; 1 Richard’s & 3 Blyth’s Pipits; 11 Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins; 8 Whinchat; 6 Barred Warblers; 3 Lesser Whitethroat & 3 Ortolan Buntings.
My final days birding for the month was on the very last day of the month (30th). MPG’s was good yet again, with the star bird being a Blyth’s Reed Warbler in the front wood. 8 Marsh Warblers; 21 Willow Warblers & both singles of Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrikes. A Crested Honey Buzzard & a Common Nightingale were also present.