Jul 072013
Rubʿ al-Khali; The Empty Quarter

At the start of this year I visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was fortunate to spend a few days at Shaybah in the northeastern edge of this, the world’s largest desert. This region is classified as ‘hyper-arid’ with typical rainfall of less than 30mm per year and is one of the driest regions […]

Mar 032013
Round up of Al Hayer in February

Last year I visited Al Hayer south of Riyadh almost weekly and it became what we birders call my local patch. This year I vowed to make trips more widely within Saudi Arabia and I have been doing so. However last weekend I returned to Al Hayer for the first time in over 6 weeks. […]

Feb 182013
A few bits and pieces in the UAE Part II

Ajban farms is a favorite site of mine , located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is a desert scrub area with large water lakes. Unfortunately the water is constantly being pumped into tankers for nearby constructions sites. Not sure how much longer there will be water there, once gone I am sure there will […]

Feb 082013
More from Zulfi

Today’s blog looks further at Mansur al Fahad’s visit to Zulfi last week. He tells me the birding is always good there and I can’t dispute that. As well as the pharaoh eagle owl and several steppe eagle featured in the last blog, there is much more to report on. For starters, Mansur managed to […]

Feb 052013
Vultures so close to Riyadh

On Thursday, after visiting the Kararah lake area, our birding party doubled back away towards Riyadh on the Mecca road before turning off north west. This was on route 505 according to the map but route 902 according to the road sign. This is an occupational hazard in Saudi Arabia, road sign numbers and map […]

Feb 022013
Kararah lake area

If you travel out of Riyadh on the Mecca road, its not too long, 30 kilometres or so, before you see brown recreational road signs to Kararah lake. Lou Regensmorter, first time birder George Darley-Doran, and I headed out that way on Thursday morning. Of course we knew the “lake” and the near-by “waterfall” would […]

Jan 152013
Five wheatears but not the right one

Last Friday, I went to “the edge of the world”. This is the name given to the Tuwaiq Escarpment and the land directly below it, west of Riyadh. Its quite popular for day tripping locals and expats who drive out on the Mecca road westward. They indulge in walks and many other outdoor activities such […]