Friday, 18 March 2011

Marsa Alam Bird Report

Dates 3rd of March to 9th of March 2011.
Arrived around 17.00hrs local time,first bird Fan tailed Raven as we boarded the coach to our resort.
The area is hotel complexes sandwiched between the Red Sea and the desert,the main habitat being hotel gardens and rocky shoreline.
The following morning a Lanner flew over,Little Egret was on the beach,I also heard Redshank.
Passerines of note were Chiffchaff and Red throated pipit,skulking Sardinian warblers were giving me the the run around,these were eclipsed by superb white spotted bluethroats.
After lunch an Osprey obliged and was grilled from ten feet away at a variety of posts notably the green flag on the beach every day and at other times eating a fish from the floodlights on the tennis court.
The following morning the Osprey was posing as was the Little Egret,a few Swallows were passing through,also a Hoopoe which was bonus seen in flight and at rest,things were quiet most of the day untill the following morning when a Cattle Egret sat around the swimming pool,every day was an Osprey day and today it was being mobbed by a Lanner and Raven. A few Chiffchaffs obliged before breakfast.
After breakfast walked around the bay to the jettys on route we saw jellyfish,viewing the coral was amazing as we crossed the jetty.On the return we saw a European kingfisher fishing from the rocks
On the 6th we saw a snipe fly over while having breakfast then we were going snorkelling at Abu  Dabab about 40 km south on route I got a brief view of Isabelline wheatear.
On arrival at Abu Dabab we met Mahmoud and Abdul and we soon put through our paces on reaching the deeper water we were soon viewing turtles with their accompanying cleaner fish,later we followed the reef seeing Scorpion or Lion fish as it is known and the Guitar fish the list was endless, our whole day is on video and I will download this asap.
The next day my cousin and I took a taxi to El Quesir an old fort daing back to the Ottoman empire,good birds on route were Nile valley sun bird and Whinchat,at the fort another Ospre an Hooded crow.
The journey  back was livened up by a covey of Crowned Sandgouse a new bird for me and a single Black Kite.

On the 8th a great variety of warblers,wagtails and a splendid Turtle dove.Our last day had arrived up at 06 30 hrs again the warblers were increasing as was the identification as none were singing and most were not in ther right habitat,the resident Osprey was eating a fish and yesterdays Turtle dove was still present but the Yellow Wagtails the impressive black headed felldegg race and Grey headed beema were long gone.A final snorkell before noon and another adventure had come to an end.
                                              CHECKLIST OF SPECIES

Lanner falcon 2,Little Egret1,Redshank1 heard,Red throated Pipit3,Pied Wagtail alba race common,Bluethroat 6 white spotted race,Sardinian Warbler4 2 pairs, Chiffchaff 2 confirmed sub species ie albienetus and collybita,Fan tailed Raven,House Sparrow,Rock dove,Collared dove1,Pintail Snipe,Crowned sandgrouse,Laughing dove,Swift,Kingfisher,Hoopoe,Sand Martin,Rock martin,Swallow,Whinchat1,Isabelline Wheatear,Desert Wheatear,Nile Valley Sunbird,Fan tailed Raven,Hooded Crow,Desert Finch,Yellow Wagtail,Turtle Dove,Sedge Warbler,Bonelli's Warbler,Sav'is Warbler.

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