26th May 2018 - Dubai

The trip to Dubai was a relaxing bank holiday break, but I managed to get a half day of birding in with Mark Smiles, who was a great guide.  Whilst by the end of the time it was getting a bit too hot for me, I was very happy I went out as I hadn't birded in the Middle East area before and so added 22 lifers to my list.

Mark picked me up from my hotel at 5am and we drove out of the city towards the south to start looking for birds.  We stopped on a piece of land that has seed regularly put out and within minutes we saw my first lifer, the Black-crowned Sparrow-lark.  It was followed by a flock of Greater Flamingo rising up above the treeline and a lone Cream-coloured Courser doing its funny run across the sand.  Back on the main road and we saw White-eared Bulbul, Brown-necked Raven, the noisy Red-wattled Lapwing and skittish Grey Francolin at the side, all lifers for me!

Cream-coloured Courser
We then drove off the road in search of Greater Hoopoe-lark and luckily Mark's sharp eyes managed to find one hopping around amongst the low shrubs.  The next stop was a walk to a small lake, where I added Clamorous Reed Warbler and Purple Sunbird (such an awesome little bird) to my quickly expanding life list.

Greater Hoopoe-lark
Yellow Wagtail
Purple Sunbird
Waders were the target then, with Kentish Plover and Black-winged Stilt being seen in large numbers, with White-tailed Lapwing a lifer.  It was starting to get a little too hot for me at this point, but a Streaked Weaver and Green Bee-eater cheered me right up!

Black-winged Stilt and White-tailed Lapwing
One last quick stop at the Ras Al Khor Sanctuary provided amazing views of Striated Heron and Western Reef Heron and was an excellent finish to the birding. 

Trip list: 62
World list: 946
Lifers this year: 24

Arabian Oryx
Graceful Prinia
House Sparrow and White-earred Bulbul
These guys are from a night walk the following night
These guys are from a night walk the following night


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