Sunday, 24 March 2013

Dubai 2013 - 10th March 2013

I boarded a plane at Newcastle Airport with the temperature at 3.5°C and got off in a warm dark Dubai at 24°C. After waking up, I opened the curtains of the hotel room to find a beautiful Laughing Dove sitting on an rooftop aerial. The list had begun, my first bird of this year's holiday was closely followed by a House Sparrow and a Black-headed Gull. I was staying at Centro by Rotana in Barshi, Dubai close to the massive Emirates Mall in the centre of the city. The artificial ski run within the mall is a massive building and as I watched the locals from the 2nd floor driving along the road, waiting for a bus or walking by there were birds to be found within this great metropolis.

I left the hotel and went to my brother's flat overlooking the Emirates Golf Course. The bird sightings continued at a fair rate of knots with 11 species seen in twenty minutes watching from the lofty heights of the 18th floor.

Common Myna, Green Bee-eater, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Collared Dove, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Indian Roller, Hoopoe, Common Swift, Grey Francolin and my first lifer species 2 Pale Crag Martins hawked insects below. What a start!

We heading to Ras La Khor, a great wetland area of International Importance for birds.
Greater Flamingo
Black-winged Stilt
Great White Egret
Little Egret
Western Reef Heron
Grey Heron
Little Stint
Black-tailed Godwit
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Kingfisher
Great-Spotted Eagle
Graceful Prinia
Willow Warbler
Common Sandpiper
White Wagtail
Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Northern Wheater
Red-wattled Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Common Snipe
Woodchat Shrike
Crested Lark

Time for lunch with the list standing at 43 species.

We went to the local shopping mall for a light lunch and as we walked past a water feature within the mall a Common Bulbul appeared collecting crumbs, so another species was found.

After lunch, we went to Mushrif Park which has diverse habitats home to a wide range of birds. At this site we spotted three new species Red-vented Bulbul, Marsh Harrier, Arabian Babbler. There were 3 Arabian Babblers together and this was a new species for me.

As the day drew to a close my holiday list was 48 species with 2 new lifers.

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