Qeshm Island, Iran 9-14 March 2015 by Mátyás Prommer
I was fortunate to participate in the first ever raptor meeting in Iran, where representatives of the ministry, the 31 provinces' environmental offices and an NGO (Tarlan Birdwatching Group). It was also an occasion for Irani government to sign the CMS Raptor MoU. After the successful meeting, I managed to spend some more days on the island with Mr Sadegh Sadegh Zadegan, who – along with his local colleagues – provided excellent guidance on the island.
Desert Lark By Mátyás Prommer
We were focusing on the raptors in the mostly semi-desert, hilly areas and over the largest mangrove forest in the Gulf. Visitors must see Qeshm Geo Park on the Western part of the island, which very beautiful on one hand, and it is also a suspected Sooty Falcon nesting site (not proved yet).
It was remarkable to see the large number of Egyptian Vultures of all ages and we also saw migratory species like Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagles, Greater Spotted Eagles, Crested Honey Buzzard. Beside that, of course, we recorded many other species (see list below).
Egyptian Vulture By Mátyás Prommer
The island (like the island of Kish) is a duty and visa-free zone and can be reached from Dubai with a daily flight (50 min from ground to ground).
During the meeting, it was told that the Atlas of Birds of Iran is ready for being released (I saw the pdf version), however it has not happened yet. The Atlas is based on available data, whcih in case of many species not so much.
Entire Iran is very under-surveyed as for bird species and – according to the local colleagues – they are welcome any visits and any records from any
parts of the country. I encourage everyone to visit this country, contact the local birdwatchers (I can help) and contribute to discover the realm if
Photos are available here:
Species list below.
List of species (not in taxonomic order):
Greater Spotted Eagle
Crested Honey Buzzard
Western Reef Heron
Little Green Bee-eater
African Rock Martin
Blue Rock Thrush
Southern/Great Grey Shrike
Pale Rock Sparrow