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Members receive 2 issues of Sandgrouse each year. Support us by joining OSME or renewing your subscription.

New Publication! A Guide to 200 Common birds of Lebanon

OSME is pleased to announce the recent publication on the common birds of Lebanon. Written by former OSME council member Richard Prior and published by SPNL (Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (www.spnl.org)), this new guide is in English and Arabic and has the primary objective of stimulating an interest in birds among young people, birding beginners, Lebanese families and tourists, thereby fostering a healthier attitude towards the country’s environment and an awareness of

Spring Sandgrouse vol 39-1

Receiving your copy of Sandgrouse is a sure sign of spring for OSME members! The spring issue of volume 39 is on its way to members and a Singing Bush Lark should start arriving on doormats in the coming few days. This issue of Sandgrouse has articles from all corners of the OSME region, from Desert Larks in Uzbekistan to Steppe Eagles in Egypt, Spectacled Warblers in Cyprus to Hypocolius in Iran, as well as a first record of Asian Dowitcher in Oman. There is an excellent research paper on one of OSME’s priority conservation issues – hunting. The paper looks at the habits and motivations of hunters towards shooting raptors at the Batumi bottleneck in south-west Georgia – a project

OSME and Avifauna Nature Tours supporting the next generation of conservationists

Guest blog by OSME member, James Hogg

​Inspiring the next generation of conservationists and birdwatchers is crucial if we are to protect our environment, save our special places and reverse the decline in threatened species. During the last 18 months OSME and Avifauna Nature Tours have supported a number of projects that have had education and awareness raising at their heart.

Sustainable Hunting Conference in Lebanon

Guest blog by James Hogg

I am sure anyone reading this knows that the hunting of birds in Lebanon as with elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa is a serious problem. Birdlife International in their report “The Killing” estimated that 2.6m birds are killed here every year. Migratory species seem to be especially targeted, and every year on social media we see numerous pictures of dead raptors, storks, pelicans and many others. Awareness of the problems around bird hunting in Lebanon is growing amongst the general population. 

The Arabic version of Birds of the Middle East is officially launched

After several years of planning, the updated Arabic version of the field guide to the Birds of the Middle East has been launched today at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai. A panel chaired by Peter Hellyer, a member of the Emirates Bird Records Committee discussed the importance of the Arabic language field guide. The book was introduced by co-author, Richard Porter, who stressed the importance of encouraging children to develop an interest in birds and birding, and how he hoped this book would help achieve that.  Whilst Richard told tales about the way in which children in Yemen had scrambled to get copies of leaflets about their country's birds, Emirati birder Ahmed Al Ali explained how it was difficult for young Emiratis to get excited about birds without anything available in Arabic. Oscar Campbell, chairman of the Emirates Bird Records Committee and himself a teacher

The bee-eater has landed!!

This weekend sees the official launch of an updated Arabic version of the Birds of the Middle East. Richard Porter is currently in Dubai at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature where he will be giving a talk on Wars and Wildlife followed by the official book launch event on Saturday 11th March. Joining him for the book launch will be OSME members and local UAE birders, Ahmed Al Ali, Oscar Campbell and Peter Hellyer.


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