Sunday, 16 November 2014

A day out around Al Ain.

Jebel Hafeet - an isolated mountain
 amid the red desert sands.

Arabian Partridge - don't get too excited, 
not tickable at this location!

It is 16th November & the weather is perfect, so a quick dash to Al Ain was in order. Up at 5 am & arrived at The Green Mubazzarah at dawn. Also walked down the back wadi. Not many migrants, but Arabian Partridges from nearly every hill! These birds were introduced a few years ago & are settling in very nicely!

Little Green Bee-eater
White-eared Bulbul - twenty years ago this species
 was not found in this locality. 
A wintering Black Redstart.

 The summit of Jebel Hafeet looking north east.
 Oman is in the distance. 

 Hume's Wheatear.
 This individual has been around here 
for at least three years. 
 A more normal bird.

 Male Hooded Wheatear.
 One of the most sought after but hard to see
 of our resident birds.
Always driven off by the more aggressive
 Hume's Wheatear.

Drove up the mountain & first call was around the hotel grounds. I lucked in with both Hume's & Hooded Wheatears, both giving excellent views. But not much else. 

Egyptian Vultures using the communications tower.
 They are fantastic birds when in the air!

 Immature bird. Jebel Hafeet acts as a kind of nursery.
 Good numbers are seen here, but they don't breed.

Desert Lark.
Striolated Bunting.

Then walked the summit circuit & made stops at regular intervals on the way down. Spent some time photographing Egyptian Vultures & Desert Lark.

 Into the desert.

 A bit of a surprise amid the dunes!
Zakkar Pools.

European Marsh Harrier.
 A haven for waterbirds.
Great Black-headed Gull - taken at 200 x
 digital zoom!

Called in at Zakkar Pools in mid-afternoon. Lots of waterfowl & waders but nothing special. 
A quick drive home & then out on the town again! 

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