uaetrip8

DUBAI

1st - 7th APRIL 2000

Alan and Anne Miller

We spent a week in Dubai as part of our Silver Wedding holiday so the plan was for a mixture of birding, sunshine and culture. That being the case we did bird each day but stayed in the Dubai area rather than going further afield.

We stayed at Le Meridian Jumeira Beach hotel about 20 minutes from Dubai and on the coast opposite the famous Emirates Golf Club.

For research we used the Colin Richardson and Simon Aspinall 'Shell Birdwatching Guide to the United Arab Emirates''and a Steve Whitehouse trip report from March/April 1999.

We found arrival at Dubai Airport effortless. We had used the contacts in the Shell Guide to book a hire car through Cars (the only firm who replied to us). We had an automatic Nissan Sunny which was fine and the collection and return arrangements no problem.

Dubai is expanding fast with new buildings and road construction. Already some details in both publications have been superseded.

One memory we share is the friendliness of the people. We never felt threatened the whole time we were there, nor were we pestered by anyone (children, beggars etc).

We were surprised not to find visible migration in full flow. We only had one warbler (a Chiffchaff), no Pipits and 2 Wagtails (1 Yellow and 1 Grey).

The sites we visited were:-

Khor Dubai Wildlife Sanctuary
A marvellous place with easy access. Best visited after high tide and a good test for waders and terns. Excellent numbers of Greater Flamingos and good to see waders in their breeding plumage which we don't see at home (Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew Sandpiper)

Emirates Golf Course
Access is now easier with a log at the gatehouse for booking in and out. The man made me jot down all the sightings from my notebook! There is a lot of work going on at the side and rear of the course site. The area next to the wildlife pool is being flattened and there is a large new fenced area restricting access to the dried-up sandgrouse pools just outside the course boundary.

Dubai Sewage Farm
A disappointment as the literature suggested a good site. Access has changed with a new entry road system. We did get lost at some watered fields and ended up at a superb stud under construction (no-one seemed to mind!). There was access to the rear from the tanker discharge area but the drop onto the sandy track was too high for our car. We tried the gatehouse but it was deserted so gave up.

Ghantoot and Jabel Ali Hotel
There was disturbance at the roadside next to the plantation as a new pipeline was being laid. Having said that we saw Hypocolius and at the garage on the E11 next to the turnoff to Ghantoot had Hoopoe Lark on the scrub between the forecourt and main road!

Jabel Ali Hotel was a picture and we got good photos of the peacocks (but haven't counted them)

Lahbab Fields and Qarn Nazwa
The Lahbab fields were wonderful with plenty of birds on the sprinkler heads. No-one seemed to mind us being there and there was plenty of cheerful waving.

Qarn Nazwa directions were good and we found the track and white boulders without a problem. The stake-out for Deset Eagle Owl was perfect. Just as it was getting dark we heard the owl call and located it landing on the ridge allowing excellent scope views.

Zabeel Fish Ponds
A magical place and well worth a visit. The road system around the Palaces has changed slightly and we ended up asking the guard at the main gate of one palace where the pools were and did he mind us visiting them. He gave us directions and we saw three passing police patrols who all gave us a wave.

Mushrif National Park
We visited it on the Friday afternoon on our way back to the airport. What a fantastic insight into how the locals pass their weekends (their Friday is our Sunday). When the crowds quietened down and people drifted away about 8pm sure enough we has two Striated Scops Owls on the grass. A fitting end to the holiday.

SIGHTINGS

Little Grebe
1 seen at Emirates Golf Course on 4 and 6 April

Great Cormorant
1 Emirates Golf Course on 4/4
3 Zabeel Fish Ponds on 6/4

Black-crowned Night-heron
2 Zabeel Fish Ponds on 6/4

Western Reef Heron
5 Khor Dubai on 2,3,5& 7/4
2 Zabeel Fish Ponds on 6/4

Little Egret
5 Khor Dubai on 2,3& 5/4
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds on 6/4

Great White Egret
1 Khor Dubai 2/4
4 Khor Dubai 5/4

Purple Heron
1 Khor Dubai on 2 & 5/4
1 Emirates Golf Course 6/4

Grey Heron
Commonly seen at Khor Dubai, Emirates Golf Course and Zabeel Fish Ponds

Greater Flamingo
Commonly seen with 250 counted at Khor Dubai 5,6& 7/4

Shelduck
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/4

Teal
20 Khor Dubai 2,3& 5/4
3 Emirates Golf Course 4/4
8 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/4

Mallard
2Knor Dubai 3/4
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/4
8 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/4

Northern Pintail
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/4

Northern Shoveler
Emirates Golf Course, 2 on 4/4, 8 on 6/4

Marsh Harrier
Khor Dubai, 2 on 3/4, 1 on 5& 6/4

Osprey
Khor Dubai, 2 on 5/4, 1 on 7/4

Kestrel
1 Qarn Nazwa 3/4

Barbary Falcon
1 Emirates Golf Course 4/4

Sand Partridge
3 Ghantoot 1/4

Grey Francolin
Turned out to be very common
2 Ghantoot 1/4
2 Lahbab Fields 3/4
4 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
8 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
10 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Moorhen
1 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Oystercatcher
6 Khor Dubai on 5,6& 7/4

Black-winged Stilt
Common wader. High count 16 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

White-tailed Plover
1 Emirates Golf Course 6/ 4

Red-wattled Plover
Common bird with 8 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
8 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
Pacific Golden Plover
Khor Dubai, 5 on 6/ 4 and 4 on 7/ 4

Grey Plover
12 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Avocet
1 Khor Dubai 3/ 4

Ringed Plover
Khor Dubai 2 on 2/ 4, 1 on 3/ 4, 6 on 5/ 4, 6 on 6/ 4 & 4 on 7/ 4

Little Ringed Plover
Khor Dubai 1 on 3/ 4, 6 on 5/ 4, 6 on 6/ 4 & 4 on 7/ 4
6 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Kentish Plover
Khor Dubai 1 on 2/ 4, 2 on 3/ 4, 6 on 5/ 4, 10 on 6/ 4 & 6 on 7/ 4
5 Emirates Golf Course on 4/ 4

Lesser Sandplover
Khor Dubai 3 on 5/ 4, 6 on 6/ 4 & 6 on 7/ 4

Greater Sandplover
Khor Dubai 2 on 2/ 4 & 5 on 5/ 4

Black-tailed Godwit
2 Khor Dubai on 3/ 4

Bar-tailed Godwit
Khor Dubai 2 on 6/ 4 & 12 on 7/ 4

Curlew
1 Emirates Golf Course on 4/ 4
Khor Dubai 3 on 5/ 4, 2 on 6/ 4 & 4 on 7/ 4

Redshank
1 Khor Dubai on 3/ 4
2 Emirates Golf Club 4/ 4

Marsh Sandpiper
1 Khor Dubai 3/ 4

Wood Sandpiper
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 Khor Dubai 6/ 4
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Terek Sandpiper
3 Khor Dubai 5/ 4
2 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Common Sandpiper
1 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Ruddy Turnstone
1 Khor Dubai 5/ 4
2 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Sanderling
12 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Little Stint
12 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
Khor Dubai 6 on 5/ 4, 12 on 6/ 4, 12 on 7/ 4

Dunlin
Khor Dubai 12 on 5/ 4, 12 on 6/ 4, 24 on 7/ 4

Curlew Sandpiper
1 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Broad-billed Sandpiper
1 Khor Dubai 6/ 4

Ruff
3 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 Khor Dubai 5/ 4

Lesser Black-backed Gull fuscus
2 from Hotel 3/ 4

Black-headed Gull
1 Ghantoot 1/ 4
2 from Hotel 2/ 4
2 Khor Dubai 2/ 4
4 Dubai City 5/ 4
4 Khor Dubai 7/ 4

Slender-billed Gull
Khor Dubai 150 on 2/ 4 & 3/ 4, 12 on 5/ 4, 6/ 4 & 7/ 4
4 from Hotel 2/ 4
9 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Gull-billed Tern
4 from Hotel 3/ 4
3 Khor Dubai 5/ 4
6 Khor Dubai 6/ 4

Caspian Tern
1 from Hotel 4/ 4
12 Khor Dubai on 5/ 4, 6/ 4 & 7/ 4

Common Tern
12 Khor Dubai 5/ 4

Lesser Crested Tern
6 from Hotel 3/ 4
1 from Hotel 4/ 4

Sandwich Tern
2 from Hotel 4/ 4
6 Khor Dubai 5/ 4,6/ 4 & 7/ 4

Feral Pigeon
Lots. High count 24 at Ghantoot 1/ 4

Collared Dove
Lots. High counts 48 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
24 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Laughing Dove
Lots. Common around the Hotel

Ring-necked Parakeet
3 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
1 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 from Hotel 5/ 4
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
2 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Striated Scops Owl
2 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Desert Eagle Owl
1 Qarn Nazwa 3/ 4

Pallid Swift
4 from Hotel 1/ 4
2 from Hotel 3/ 4

Swift
6 Dubai Sewage Works 2/ 4
2 Dubai City 5/ 4
6 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Little Green Bee-eater
2 Emirates Golf Course 2/ 4
1 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4

6 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 from Hotel 5/ 4
2 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Indian Roller
Seen each day from our Hotel window
1 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
1 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Hoopoe
Seen most days in Hotel Grounds
4 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
12 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Desert Lark
3 Ghantoot 1/ 4
2 Emirates Golf Course 2/ 4

Hoopoe Lark
1 Ghantoot 1/ 4 (on scrub between petrol station and E11 motorway!)

Short-toed Lark
6 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Crested Lark
Common. High counts 12 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
6 Khor Dubai 5/ 4, 6/ 4 & 7/ 4

Yellow Wagtail
1 Khor Dubai 5/ 4

Grey Wagtail
1 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

White-cheeked Bulbul
Common. High count 12 in Hotel grounds 1/ 4

Red-vented Bulbul
Common. High counts 12 in Hotel grounds 1/ 4
9 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4

Grey Hypocolius
1 Ghantoot 1/ 4

Redstart
2 Emirates Golf Club 4/ 4 – both samamisicus race

Northern Wheatear
2 Ghantoot 1/ 4
1 Hotel grounds 2/ 4
6 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
1 Emirates Golf Course 6/ 4

Chiffchaff
1 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Graceful Pirinia
2 each day in the Hotel grounds

Arabian Brown Babbler
3 Qarn Nazwa 3/ 4
6 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Purple Sunbird
1 Dubai Sewage Works 2/ 4
1 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
4 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4
6 Mushrif Park 7/ 4

Isabelline Shrike
1 Jabel Ali Hotel 1/ 4

1 Dubai Sewage Works 2/ 4
2 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
2 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
1 Khor Dubai 5/ 4

Southern Grey Shrike aucheri
1 Dubai Sewage Works 2/ 4
2 Qarn Nazwa 3/ 4
1 Lahbab Fields 3/ 4
1 Khor Dubai 5/ 4

Steppe Grey Shrike pallidirostris
1 Qarn Nazwa 3/ 4

House Crow
Common. High counts 4 from Hotel 1/ 4 & 2/ 4
4 Dubai City 5/ 4

Pied Starling
2 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Common Mynah
Common. High counts 8 Hotel grounds 1/ 4 & 3/ 4
12 Emirates Golf Course 4/ 4
24 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

House Sparrow
Common everywhere. High count 60 Jabel Ali Hotel

Indian Silverbill
4 resident in Hotel grounds
1 Qarn Nazwa 3/ 4

Masked Weaver
2 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Golden-backed Weaver
3 Zabeel Fish Ponds 6/ 4

Cinereous Bunting
3 Hotel grounds 1/ 4