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Knot ‘EI’ again!

Dmitry Dorofeev and his team have been counting and ringing shorebirds in the estuary of the Khairusova-Belogolovaya River, Kamchatka, Russia for a number of years. In 2016, they marked 320 Great Knots with engraved yellow flags, and have had subsequent re-sightings of birds in Japan, South Korea and Australia. But probably the most unexpected re-sighting was that of a Great Knot in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

Hypocolius Project – can you help?

The Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus) is a target species for many birders visiting the OSME region, and it is the sole extant member of its genus and family. This small passerine has a relatively large range, with its breeding grounds covering parts of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, and a non-breeding range extending towards the south in Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and portions of Iran, Pakistan and India. Despite its high profile with birders, there are no robust population estimates or understanding of population trends.

Illegal killing of birds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran: peer-review

Regular readers of this website will be aware that OSME and BirdLife International are working on an assessment of the scale of illegal bird killing across the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran. Data have already been collated and reviewed for most of the countries within our study area and we are now finalising the data for Iran and Saudi Arabia. We are inviting those with a knowledge of the birds of Iran and Saudi Arabia to provide comments on our preliminary data.

EI in the UAE: a story of one Great Knot

Earlier this year you may remember Dmitry Dorofev and Oscar Campbell wrote a guest blog about the sighting of a colour-ringed Great Knot observed in the United Arab Emirates. On 20 January 2017, Great Knot ‘EI’ was located and photographed amongst a small flock of 20 Great Knots, at Khor al Beida, some 8300km from where it was originally ringed in Kamchatka, Russia. This resighting is of particular interest as it is the first confirmation obtained that Great Knots staging in Kamchatka reach as far west as the Arabian Gulf.

Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East – An Annotated Checklist. Dominic Mitchell. 2017. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona, Spain

Let’s cut to the chase. There are no pictures between the covers – this book contains data, the condensed relevant information that comprises the first comprehensive 21st-century checklist covering an updated and well-rationalised definition of the Western Palearctic bird checklist. Superficially, this is a book for data junkies who like birds, and yes, doubtless they will appreciate it for that reason. However, it is far more than that, for not only does this book deserve to sit on academics’ shelves, for once it has been examined closely, it also will appeal to those who are hooked on the way science uncovers mysteries and the way it often producing counter-intuitive results that disturb comfortable, long-held assumptions. 

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