Thursday, 24 October 2013

June 2013 round up

I did little birding in June because Carol was increasingly very poorly. It became one long round of hospital visits, as Carol stayed quite a few nights in both Twam & Sheikh Khalifa Hospitals. Carol steadily became weaker & weaker, only regular blood transfusions seemed to perk her up albeit temporarily. She withstood everything with great fortitude & dignity. I was very proud of her. Carol could only walk a few steps & couldn't climb the stairs to our bedroom. We therefore moved our lives up onto the first floor of the house & I watched as my lovely girl slowly became almost unrecognizable & decline with every passing day.  It was hard to remain cheerful and impossible to remain optimistic. Carol’s life and my hopes were both draining away with every day. I knew I was losing her.
On my way to work on the 4th I saw a very late Cattle Egret at the side of the road. They seem to be staying longer & longer with each passing year. Definitely a possible future breeding species for Abu Dhabi Emirate. However most exciting was an adult male Shikra which shot across 19th Street at dawn.
The next day 2 Crested Honey Buzzards circled overhead on the Western Relief Road (30th Street) also as I drove to work.
A pelagic off Kalba on 7th provided a temporary escape for me (but not for Carol) it was great to be part of more normal life again. 2 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters gave us great views; an impressive 1121 Persian Shearwaters; 1 Wilson’s Petrel; a second summer Long-tailed Skua and a Brown Noddy completed the good birds for the day.
A repeat trip on 14th was even more productive, with an incredible 8 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters; a Flesh-footed Shearwater and 21 Jouanin’s Petrels. 21 Wilson’s Petrels and an Arctic Skua were also recorded.
Dawn on the 18th saw me driving to work down 30th Street & 4 Crested Honey Buzzards flew very low over the main road. An incredible record for this time of year.
On the final day of the month a female Shikra flew across the same road. This species must be breeding locally.

By now my whole existence was geared up to getting Carol on a plane to the UK. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I didn’t want her to die here in the UAE, somehow we had to get home. 

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