Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Back in the UAE!

A brief sojourn back into the UAE, before I depart on my long anticipated big trip on 27th.

Early morning & moody skies at Zakkar Pools.

Today is the 25th March & Oscar asked me to guide two of his friends around the Al Ain area. I was happy to oblige & so the 5 am alarm saw me up & about. I met his two friends Chris & Tony at Oscar's flat & after brief introductions, we were off down the road to Al Ain, arriving at Zakkar Pools with a smattering of rain (unusual here) & grey overcast skies.

Chris & Tony in the back wadi.

As usual lots of species on offer here, but nothing unusual: 26 Great Cormorant; 28 Grey Heron; Purple Heron; 2 Great White Egret; 2 Little Egret & a Western Reef Heron. 65+ Little and a lone Black-necked Grebe; 8 Wigeon; 2 Gadwall; 7 Mallard; 22 Teal; 17 Northern Shoveler & 3 Pochard were out on the water. 2 Black-tailed Godwit; 85 Ruff &  75 Little Stint were the best of the waders on display.

Green Mubazarrah.

We quickly moved on to the Green Mubazarrah,  where 7 Egyptian Vulture & a Short-toed Eagle were seen. We saw the vast majority of the residents species, but next to no migrants at all. It was pretty quiet! We drove up the mountain seeing more Blue Rock Thrush & a nice male Red-tailed Rock Thrush.

Blue Rock Thrush.

Indian Roller.

 A young Arabian Babbler.


Hume's Wheatear.

Brown-necked Raven with food.

Khalifah - a top UAE birder.

 Crested Honey Buzzard.

Adult male Crested Honey Buzzard.

Two Crested Honey Buzzards.

This could be a Eurasian Honey Buzzard.

 Khalifah was around, & we quickly settled on the next stop at the Compost Plant. This yielded 3 Crested Honey Buzzard & a possible Eurasian Honey Buzzard.

Looking from the eastern side towards
Jebel Hafeet.

Chris, Khalifah & Tony.

Striolated Bunting.

Trumpeter Finch.

A quick trip around the far side of the mountain proved to be a good choice, with many Striolated Bunting & a lone female Trumpeter Finch noted. 

Then it was time to meet Angela at the Golf Club & we had a pleasant evening seeing Osprey; 3 Western Reef Heron & two, maybe three Pintail Snipe.

I met up with all the guys at the marina next to Abu Dhabi Mall on 26th March. It was good to see Maartin again, as I hadn't seen him for a while.

Leaving shore.

The very modern Abu Dhabi.

We set out to sea, travelling around 4 kms out in very shallow seas.

White-cheeked Terns have just arrived to 
breed on the offshore islands here.

 Great Black-headed Gull.

One of the best looking gulls in the world.

 First winter birds.

A full adult bird.

One of the very variable 
Yellow-legged Gulls found here.

Around 15-20 Great Black-headed Gulls were noted & gave good views.

 Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin

We also came across a school of around 20 Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins which stuck around for a while & entertained us all, but proved very difficult to photograph!

Heading for Lulu, with the city of 
Abu Dhabi in the background.

We eventually turned around & headed for Lulu Island to target the Grey Hpocolious there.

Maarten on Lulu Island.

Robin & myself in front of our transport
 on the island!

Robin, Dick & Maarten.

 Grey Hypocolious

This species is always wary & very difficult
 to get close to.

 At least 15 birds were present.

Me, enjoying the afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment