UAE Spring migration begins !

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In recent weeks the spring migration has started in the UAE. So far an exceptional spring for Wheatears, with large numbers of Isabelline and Pied Wheatears moving through, certainly many more than in recent years. In with these species we have also recorded Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and the occasional vittata sub-species of the Pied Wheatear (which I have yet to catch up with).

Other birds of note are the numbers of Woodchat Shrike reported around the UAE, again in numbers that are high compared to recent years, I know I have seen more in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last 3 years.

Al Quaa Fodder field , south of Al Ain is the place to be it seems. On 10th March the following were recorded :

Pied Wheatear 100+
Northern Wheatear 15
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 15
Isabelline Wheatear 50+

On the same day a little further south at Dhahira Fodder fieldmore than 300 Pale Rockfinch were recorded, again very high numbers.

Shrikes continue to be a migration favorite, as mentioned earlier, Woodchat Shrikes have been seen in good numbers along with the more usual Turkestan, Daurian, Southern Grey and Steppe Shrikes.

White and Yellow wagtails are in abundance, as usual the Dubai Pivot fields hold good numbers of both. Yellow Wagtails are predominantly Feldegg and Beema s.sp. Also noted were the melanogrisea variant but I am not sure whether this is known as a true sub-species, your comments on this are welcome.

Another popular migrant site is the Sila Peninsular down by the Saudi Border about 4-5 hours from Dubai. Some of our more adventurous birders ventured down there, also on the 10th March. There they recorded amongst other things huge numbers of Hoopoe 100 +

Wheatears included Isabelline 40 , Pied 23 , Desert 8 , Northern 1 and Black-eared .
Shrikes included Turkestan 43, Daurian 9, Masked 1, Woodchat 20, Steppe Grey 18

All in all a nice start to the migration season – still looking out for those Megas !

See my images in my Flikr account

Yellow Wagtail

(Motacilla flava beema)

a.k.a Sykes’s Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail (

Motacilla flava melonagrisea)

a.k.a White-chinned Wagtail

Steppe Grey Shrike

(Lanius meridionalis pallidirostris)

Pied Wheatear

(Oenanthe pleschanka)

Pied Wheatear

(Oenanthe pleschanka)

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

(Monticola saxatilis)

Woodchat Shrike

(Lanius senator)

Woodchat Shrike

(Lanius senator)

Woodchat Shrike

(Lanius senator)

Woodchat Shrike

(Lanius senator)

Turkestan Shrike

(Lanius isabellinus phoenicuroides)

Isabelline Wheatear

(Oenanthe isabellina)

Flikr

Mike Barth

Mike Barth

Mike Barth, a photographer from Manchester England, was based in Dubai in the UAE from 2004 to 2016. He has travelled regularly to Africa and Asia and has had the pleasure of birding in some wonderful locations. A passionate bird photographer he now offers tours for small groups, maximum of 6, photographers and offers photographic tours to several locations such as Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana. Please visit his site at https://www.mikebarthphotography.com for information, there you can also purchase prints in various formats.

Mike Barth

Mike Barth

Mike Barth, a photographer from Manchester England, was based in Dubai in the UAE from 2004 to 2016. He has travelled regularly to Africa and Asia and has had the pleasure of birding in some wonderful locations. A passionate bird photographer he now offers tours for small groups, maximum of 6, photographers and offers photographic tours to several locations such as Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana. Please visit his site at https://www.mikebarthphotography.com for information, there you can also purchase prints in various formats.

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