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Jul 052016
 
Beitostølen and Valdresflya

Our stay in Beitostølen with visits to Valdresflya continues to produce some interesting birds. On Valdresflya I have seen the Long-tailed Skuas again but they have been too distant for pictures. The two male Long-tailed Ducks seem to have their own areas on a lake and may well have a female on a nest nearby. […]

Feb 072016
 
Greater Spotted Eagles  – Sabkhat Al Fasl

A small group of 22 Common Shelduck were seen on the flooded sabkha area of Sabkhat Al Fasl in January, the first birds recorded there this winter for me although Phil saw some a few weeks before. This species occurs here every winter in small numbers although over 300 were seen one winter. In the […]

Dec 092015
 
Waders, Winterers and residents – Sabkhat Al Fasl

My last trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl produced a number of waders of various species including the highest number of Marsh Sandpipers I have seen for a while. Most waders were Dunlins with good numbers of Common Ringed Plover scattered amongst them. A few smart plumaged Kentish Plovers were feeding around the shoreline and a […]

Dec 042015
 
Highest site count of Greater Spotted Eagles - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekends birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl produced a good number of winter visitors including the largest number of wintering Greater Spotted Eagles recorded at the site when 17 were seen in one morning. Birds normally arrive in September and stay until April or early May. Western Marsh Harrier is another wintering raptor seen regularly […]

Nov 232015
 
Birding Antalya, Turkey

A few days ago I returned from Antalya, Turkey. I wasn’t there for fun or birding; it was a work trip. I was unable to go anywhere except walk around the hotel grounds and look for whatever wildlife might appear there. However, the grounds were large and beautiful; there were lots of trees, and the […]

Nov 142015
 
Teetering on the brink

As Saeed Shanfari and I finished at Dowkah farm so fresh on Monday we pressed on to Qatbeet before turning round. Qatbeet was so far from the coast, it was the only place which was not affected by cyclone chapala at all. It was it’s usual very hot self. Winter coolness arrives later in the […]

Nov 102015
 
Abdim's stork are back

During mid week a week ago, I managed to snatch some time to visit Raysut settling pools in the late afternoon. The good news is that about 45 Abdim’s stork had arrived. It is only in very recent years that they have chosen to winter in Salalah and it looks like that will continue this […]

Sep 152014
 
UK wagtails face long-term decline

The three species of wagtail that breed in the UK are suffering long-term declines, a study has revealed. Yellow wagtails, grey wagtails and pied wagtails are all in decline, according to the annual breeding bird survey’s latest report, though conservationists say the reasons for the reductions are not clear. Yellow wagtails, farmland birds which migrate […]

Jul 282013
 
Jahra Pools Reserve, Kuwait

Summer in Kuwait is searing hot and is traditionally a quiet birding month, however in late Spring we do have some species breeding at the Pools and mid-summer we have many Tern species breeding on the off-shore islands. Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius) have remained through the Spring and Summer and are suspected to be […]

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 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 […]

Jan 222013
 
Deffi Park, Jubail

I visited Deffi Park, Jubail for the first time on Thursday. It is a large city- based public park two kilometres inland from the Persian gulf. It is one of the best places apparently for migrant Eurasian thrushes and finches to be pushed down in mid winter. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t see one blackbird […]