syria3

BIRDS IN SYRIA

During 1997-2000 I made three visits to Syria. Unfortunately my fellow travellers did not share my interest in birds so the possibilities to stop wherever I wanted to were not that big but never the less I made some observations that might be of interest. 
I have not found much written about birding in Syria so I am not sure what is interesting or not. Therefore I include all my notations. There are also some notes from 1974 when I spent six months in the country. As I was a young beginner then I have excluded some uncertain observations. 

Shag:
1 on a small island Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Grey Heron:
2 passing Tartous 28/3-97
3 S Tartous 11/4-98
3 passing Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

White Stork:
4 NE Damascus 27/3-97
4 W Homs 27/3-97
2 SE Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00
Several migrating Deir Soleib - Misyaf 29/4-00
Several hundred NW Homs 29/4-00

Black stork:
1 SW Palmyra 21-22/4-00
1 migrating Apamea 28/4

Mallard:
50 Deir Ez Zur 8/4-98

Black Kite:
1 W Homs 27/3-97
30-40 migrating Krak des Chevaliers 11/4-98

Buzzard:
Hundreds passing Krak des Chevaliers 11/4-98

Aquila sp:
Several migrating Krak des Chevaliers 11/4-98

Booted Eagle:
1 30 km SW Palmyra 7/4-98

Montagu´s Harrier:
Several migrating in the desert around Palmyra 21-22/4-98

Kestrel:
1 Krak des Chevaliers 4/4-74 and 27/3-97

Lesser Kestrel:
1 Qalaat As Rabbeh 8/4-98
1 Doura Europous 8/4-98
2 Rasafeh 9/4-98
2 Krak des Chevaliers 11/4-98
1 male Deir Soleib 29/4-00

Moorhen:
1 close to Mari 8/4-98

Coot:
Several Deir Ez Zur 8/4-98 and 23/4-00

Great Snipe:
1 Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Common Sandpiper:
1 Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

Cream-coloured Courser:
3 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00
Several in the desert Palmyra - Deir Ez Zur 22/4-00

Yellow-legged Gull:
Several Tartous 28/3-97
Several Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Lesser Black-backed Gull:
Several Tartous 28/3-97

Black.headed Gull:
Several Tartous 28/3-97

Palm Dove:
Common Damascus march 97, april 98 and april 00

Collared Dove:
Several along the road Palmyra – Deir Ez Zur 7/4-98

Rock Dove:
1 Palmyra – Deir Ez Zur 7/4-98

Cuckoo:
1 heard in the mountains E Latakia 28/4-00

Swift:
Seen in Damascus 24/3-97, Maloula 12/4-98 and migrating in Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00, but not in great numbers.

Alpine Swift:
Seen in Palmyra 13/4-74 and Maloula 12/4-98

Kingfisher:
1 Mari 8/4-98

Pied Kingfisher:
1 Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater:
Several Mari 8/4-00

Bee-eater:
Several migrating around Palmyra and in Deir Ez Zur 22/4-00

Roller:
Several Hama – Misyaf – Homs 29/4-00

Hoopoe:
1 Palmyra – Deir Ez Zur 7/4-98
1 Doura Europous 8/4-98

Wryneck:
1 (climbing on a wall) Damascus 7/4-98

Crested Lark:
Several Ebla 29/3-97, Deir Ez Zur – Palmyra 7/4-98, S Tartous 
11/4-98, Soukneh 22/4-98 and Apamea 28/4-00

Hoopoe Lark:
1 Soukneh 22/4-00

Temminck´s Horned Lark:
2 Homs – Palmyra 13/4-74

Sand Martin:
Some migration along the Euphrates, Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

Swallow:
Several in Damascus 24/3-97 and Deir Ez Zur 8/4-98.
Migration in the desert around Palmyra 21-22/4-00
Heavy passage (around 300/minute!!) along the Euphrates, Deir Ez 
Zur, early morning 23/4-00

Red-rumped Swallow:
Seen in Palmyra 13/4-74 and Damascus 24/3-97
Some migration Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

House Martin:
Seen in Damascus 24/3-97

Red-throated Pipit:
3-4 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Yellow Wagtail:
Common Palmyra 13/4-74

White Wagtail:
1 100 km SW Palmyra 21/4-00

Red-backed Shrike:
1 Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Woodchat Shrike:
1 S Tartous 11/4-98
1 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 22/4-00

Magpie:
2 SE Deir Ez Zur 8/4-98
2 Deir Ez Zur 23/4-00

Jay:
Heard in the mountains E Tartous 10/4-98
2 Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Raven:
3 – 4 Palmyra 7/4-98

Wren:
1 singing Krak des Chevaliers 27/3-97
Several singing in the mountains E Tartous 10/4-98 and E Latakia 
28/4-00

Robin:
1 Bara 29/3-97

Nightingale:
1 singing Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Redstart:
1 male Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Black-eared Wheatear:
1 male Ebla 29/3-97

Blackbird:
Several singing in the mountains E Tartous 10/4-98 and E Latakia
28/4-00

Blue Rock Thrush:
1 singing in the Old City, Damascus 19-30/4-00

Cetti´s Warbler:
Several singing Deir Ez Zur 8/4-98 and 23/4-00

Fan-tailed Warbler:
1 singing close to Krak des Chevaliers 27/3-97

Blackcap:
Several singing Damascus 24/3-97
1 male Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Lesser Whitethroat:
Several singing in the mountains E Tartous 10/4-98
1 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Sardinian Warbler:
Several Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Graceful Warbler:
1 singing Adra 7/4-98
Very common along the coast S Tartous 11/4-98
A few singing Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Chiffchaff:
Several singing in Damascus 24/3-97and in the coastal mountains 10/4-98, 27-28/4-00

Great tit:
Singing males heard Krak des Chevaliers 27/3-97, Bara 28/3-97, 
coastal mountains 10/4-98 and 28/4-00, Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00,
Deir Soleib 29/4-00

Nuthatch:
Several heard in the mountains E Tartous 10/4-98

Yellow-vented Bulbul:
2 Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00

Spanish Sparrow:
10 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Dead Sea Sparrow:
10 Mari 8/4-98

Rock Sparrow:
Several Maaloula 12/4-98

Chaffinch:
Several small flocks Bara 28/3-97

Linnet:
Heard Bara 28/-97

Goldfinch:
A few Krak des Chevaliers 27/3-97 and Deir Soleib 29/4-00

Greenfinch:
A few Krak des Chevaliers 27/3-97
1 singing Maaloula 12/4-98

Serin:
Several Bara 28/3-97
Several singing in the mountains E Latakia 27/4-00

Ortolan Buntung:
1 Zenobia Desert Camp, S Palmyra 21/4-00

Cretzschmar´s Bunting:
1 10 km E Tartous 10/4-98

Black-headed Bunting:
Very common Ras al-Bassit 28/4-00
Several singing Apamea 28/4-00

Corn Bunting:
1 singing Ebla 29/3-97
1 singing close to Krak des Chevaliers 11/4-98
Several singing Ghab 28/4-00