egtrip2

EGYPT TRIP REPORT

16 - 29 September 1996

Summary of Itinerary - September 1996

Mon 16th
Egyptair flight from Heathrow 14.25hrs to Luxor 21.45hrs then aboard King Tut for Nile Cruise 7 nights

Tues 17th, Wed 18th, Thur 19th, Fri 20th, Sat 21st & Sun 22nd
The cruise was principally to visit the ancient sites and monuments. Birdwatching was limited and carried out at sites visited using binoculars only. The boat travelled slowly close to one bank of the Nile or the other. However, some birds could not be identified due to distance, particularly small waders, distant raptors or shikes, etc. The journey included visits to the West Bank (Valley of the Kings, etc.) at Luxor, calls at Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan, and on the 19th, a 3 and a half hour journey through the Nubian Desert (if only the coach driver had been a birdwatcher!) to and return from Abu Simbel near the Sudan border. The boat arrived back at Luxor on Monday 23rd.

Mon 23rd
Luxor to Hurghada by coach with an armed escort who stayed with us up to the Eastern Desert. We passed many wheatear sp without being able to stop and identify them until we stopped at Safaga and then on to Hurghada.

Tues 24th, Wed 25th & Thur 26th
Stayed at the Three Corners complex at Hurghada. No car, so difficult moving around, buildings everywhere, each hotel had its own private beach so difficult getting to coastal sites. We did 2 days of boat trips designed principally for snorkelling. Managed twice to use the telescope on the mainland which produced good sightings.

Fri 27th
Egyptair to Cairo and on to Giza, Hotel Oasis.

Sat 28th
Cairo

Sun 29th
Giza, Managed an excellent birding trip out to Abassa courtesy of Andrew Grieve who was present in the country at the time, he drove through Cairo like a native. Phew!

Mon 30th
Egyptair Cairo to Heathrow.

Check List

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
2 at Abassa on 29th.

White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
1 on River Nile near Edfu on 18th and 50 between Edfu and Esna on 21st.

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
2 singles on the Nile, at Edfu on 18th and between Aswan and Kom Ombo on 20th.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
c243 on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan between 17th and 21st, also 8 at Abassa on 29th.

Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus
6 on the Nile in singles between Luxor and Aswan 17th to 21st and 1 at Hurghada on 23rd.

Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
15 on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan 17th to 21st with 8 of these between Kom Ombo and Edfu on 18th, also 3 at Abassa on 29th.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Common along the Nile, c250 roosting on an island at Kom Ombo on 20th for instance. Common around outskirts of Cairo with c250 noted at Abassa on 29th.

Great White Egret Egretta alba
1 on the Nile between Edfu and Aswan on 18th.

Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis
6, all of the white phase, in the Hurghada area, with 3 on Abu Minqer island and the other three along the Hurghada shore.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Common along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan with about 300 seen. Also small numbers noted at Abassa on 29th.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
c30 along the Nile with 10 on 18th between Edfu and Aswan. Small numbers at Abassa on 29th.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
8 along the Nile with 7 of these between Edfu and Aswan on 18th.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
c80 on the Nile with most between Edfu and Aswan on 18th which included a group of 50.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
c154 on the Nile, usually in groups of 20+ and a maximum of 30 together between Edfu and Aswan on 18th. 1 at Abassa on 29th.

White Stork Ciconia ciconia
64 observed with only 3 along the Nile. c60 circled the Nubian Desert on 19th and 1 at Qena on 23rd.

Teal Anas crecca
c150 on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Garganey Anas querquedula
c68 along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Shoveler Anas clypeata
c48 along the Nile, mainly between Edfu and Aswan on 18th.

Osprey Pandion haliaectus
1 on 26th near Umm Magawish island, Hurghada.

Black Kite Milvus migrans
c15 between Qena and Aswan 17th to 23rd and 7 at Abu Simbel on 19th.

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
1 at Luxor on West Bank on 17th, 3 betwen Luxor and Edfu on 17th, 1 at Edfu on 21st, 3 at Qena on 23rd and 1 at Abassa on 29th.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
A total of 17 birds though only 1 along the Nile, near Luxor on 21st and 2 at Abassa on 29th and the rest around Hurghada on the Red Sea with some southerly passage on 25th/26th when 7 on 25th and another 7 on 26th including 3 hunting over Abu Minqer island.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
1 flew south at Hurghada on 25th and 1 heading south west at Hurghada on 26th.

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
2 hunting Abu Minqer island at Hurghada on 26th.

Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus
1 over the Valley of the Nobles on the west bank at Luxor on 17th.

Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
1 between Edfu and Aswan on 18th and 3 over Maadi, Cairo on 27th.

Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides
1 over the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, on 22nd was mobbed by a small falcon but both moved off quickly out of sight.

Sooty Falcon Falco concolor
2 hunting over Abu Minqer, Hurghada, on 25th with 3 (possibly same 2 as earlier) in off the sea at Hurghada on evening watch on 25th, 2 again seen hunting over Abu Minqer on 26th.

Hobby Falco subbuteo
1 flew in off the sea over Giftun Kebir island at Hurghada on 24th.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Observed most days along the Nile, around Cairo and other agricultural areas.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Common along the Nile and at Abassa.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio
2 between Edfu and Aswan on 18th.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
c150 counted along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan 17th to 21st.

Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis
4 gave close views at Abassa on 29th.

Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis
1 between Kom Ombo and Aswan on 20th and 3 at Abassa on 29th.

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
40 at Abassa on 29th.

Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii
6 at Hurghada on 23rd and 1 there on 25th.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
3 at Hurghada on 23rd and 1 at Abassa on 29th.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
2 at Abassa on 29th.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
4 at Hurghada on 23rd.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
2 at Hurghada on 23rd.

Spur-winged Plover Hoplopterus spinosus
Common along the Nile with c200 between Luxor and Aswan and small numbers in agricultural land around Cairo and at Abassa.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
3 between Kom Ombo and Aswan on 20th.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
6 at Abassa on 29th.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
6 on the Nile between Edfu and Aswan on 18th.

Curlew Numenius arquata
1 at Hurghada on 24th.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Several along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
c15 along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
c30 along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan and 2 at Abassa on 29th.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
1 at Abassa on 29th.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres
5 at Hurghada on 23rd.

Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii
c20 at Hurghada and general area between 24th and 26th.

White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus
c500 at Hurghada and general area.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
c50 along the Nile with 35 at Edfu on 21st.

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Up to 6 noted at Hurghada between 24th and 26th.

Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
Up to 10 noted fishing around islands off Hurghada between 24th and 26th.

White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa
c80 around Abu Minqer island off Hurghada between 24th and 26th.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
3 along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus
5 on road through Nubian Desert between Aswan and Abu Simbel on 19th.

Rock Dove Columba livia
Numerous on cliffs between Luxor and Aswan.

Palm Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Common in all suitable areas.

Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis
3 observed on reed edges at Abassa on 29th.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
1 at Hurghada on 25th and 1 at Abassa on 29th.

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Common in all suitable places along Nile and north of Cairo with an estimated 200/300 birds along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

Hoopoe Upupa epops
Noted in many areas along Nile and around Cairo.

Bee-eater Merops apiaster
6 seen along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, 7 at qena on 23rd, 1 at Hurghada on 25th, 1 at Giza on 27th and 11 at Abassa on 29th.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops superciliosus
1 between Luxor and Edfu on 17th.

Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
3 between Edfu and Aswan on 18th, 5 on Kitchener Island, Aswan on 19th, 1 at Kom Ombo on 20th and 11 at Qena on 23rd.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla
1 on Philae Island, Aswan on 20th.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Common in all agricultural areas along Nile and at Abassa.

Short-toed Lark Calandrella cinerea
1 on Giftun Kebir island, Hurghada on 24th.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
70 between Edfu and Aswan on 18th and 80 at Abassa on 29th.

Pale Crag Martin [African Rock Martin] Ptyonoprogne fuligula
Noted around archeological sites with 32 at the temple at Edfu on 18th, 8 at Abu Simbel on 19th and 12 around the Aswan High Dam on 20th as well a few elsewhere.

Swallow Hirundo rustica
Several hundred of the race savignii along the Nile between Luxor and Aswan and a few at Abassa.

Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
2 (an adult and juvenile) on the southern end of Giftun Kebir island at Hurghada on 24th. The first record for Egypt.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
1 at Hurghada on 25th.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Up to 6 at Hurghada between 23rd and 26th and several of the race pygmea at Abassa on 29th.

Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
5 on Kitchener Island, Aswan on 19th and very common around Guza and Cairo.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
2 at Hurghada on 23rd and 1 on Giftun Kebir island, Hurghada on 24th.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
1 at Hurghada on 23rd and 1 on Giftun Kebir island, Hurghada on 24th.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
1 on 24th on Giftun Kebir island, off Hurghada.

Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha
1 beside road half way between Qena and Safaga on 23rd.

White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga
2 at Safaga on 23rd.

Blackbird Turdus merula
1 at Maadi, Cairo on 27th and 1 at Giza, Cairo on 28th.

Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis
1 at Edfu on 17th, 4 at Abu Simbel on 19th, 6 on Philae Island, Aswan on 20th and 10 at Abassa on 29th.

Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida
2 at Abu Simbel on 19th and 1 on Philae Island, Aswan on 20th.

Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina
1 on Giftun Kebir island, Hurghada on 24th.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
c30 at Abu Simbel on 19th and 2 at Hurghada on 25th.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
c15 at Abu Simbel on 19th, 25 on Philae Island, Aswan on 20th, 5 at Hurghada on 24th and 8 at Hurghada on 25th.

Nile Valley Sunbird Anthreptes metallicus
4 on Kitchener Island, Aswan on 19th and 6 on Philae Island, Aswan on 20th.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
1 on Giftun Kebir Island, Hurghada on 24th and 2 at Hurghada on 25th.

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
2 on Nile shore between Luxor and Aswan.

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
1 at Edfu on 18th and 1 at Hurghada on 25th.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
3 at Abu Simbel on 19th.

Hooded Crow Corvus corone cornix
Common in all suitable areas.

Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis
Several in Nubian desert between Aswan and Abu Simbel on 19th and also in Eastern desert between Qena and Safaga, and also numerous at Hurghada.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Common, flocks of over 100 noted.

Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar
2 at Abassa on 29th.

Avadavat Amandava amandava
Up to 50 noted in fields at Abassa on 29th.

Mike Bayldon