UAE/Oman February 6th - 21st, 2012

Published by Forrest Rowland (rowbird2005 AT

Participants: Bernard Master, Cyrus Moqtaderi, Forrest Rowland (author)


Top Ten Tour Highlights:

1. Grey Hypocolius
2. Hume’s Tawny Owl
3. Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak
4. Sociable Plover
5. Little Pratincole
6. Black-crowned (Percival’s) Tchagra
7. Eversmann’s (Rufous-backed) Redstart
8. Pallid Scops-Owl
9. Variable (Eastern Pied) Wheatear
10. Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse coming to watering hole

Tour Intro

There is nothing that quite compares to landing in Dubai at night. The ships in the Gulf; vast lights lining the shore; strobes flashing like stars atop the World’s tallest buildings. There is little that can compare to the industry and mystery of forward-thinking Arab nations such as the United Arab Emirates or the Sultanate of Oman. They exemplify and tout man’s ability to master the harshest of terrain. In the case of these two countries, this is accomplished with an ease and grace that has gained the attention and marvel of all the World. It was our privilege to enjoy this as the stage, the backdrop, for one of the most unique birding adventures out there.

From the waning days of March until the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, in December, temperatures on the Arabian Peninsula soar. At the height of Summer, 50 degrees Celsius is not uncommon in the interior. Fewer than 60 species of breeding birds can withstand the prolonged onslaught of the season. Every living thing is wont for water, shade, and any small respite from the oppressive heat. Winter is another matter entirely. While enjoying average daily temperatures of 25-32 Celsius and low humidity, migrant species from throughout the Western Palearctic and Central Asia take advantage of easy foraging and the prolific groundwater at farms and oases. Eagles flock by the thousands to local carcass dumps. Waterfowl languish in the Khawrs near the ocean and at freshwater pools in wadis. At no time of year is the Arabian Peninsula more diverse than the final days of Fall migration and the early days of Spring. From the possibility of an Hypocolius, to the wonder of Sandgrouse flocking to drink, a plethora of fascinating birding experiences exist in Arabia!

Our route began in Dubai, the furthest North latitude of our travels. We birded the metropolitan hotpots thoroughly before heading southwest along the coast to Abu Dhabi, then East, inland, to Al Ayn. Crossing into Oman, we birded the Sohar Coast of the Indian Ocean, before heading South through the vast expanse of the Rub Al Khali (the Empty Quarter). We ended at the Dhofar region of southern Oman, among African Baobabs and Coconut Palms. We enjoyed it all: estuaries and mangroves, majestic mountains and wadis, endless desert and oases. It was the perfect Arabian Overland Odyssey among wonderful, friendly people, easy roads, and fine accommodation.

Tour Summary

The United Arab Emirates

Dubai has several resident expert birders and, lucky for the visiting birder, wonderful infrastructure for navigation and seeking these sites out. There are many to explore. A big part of the excitement of birding this region is that you never know what may turn up! We had our fair share of surprises as we visited a handful of the best sites near Dubai including the Pivot Fields, Mushrif National Park, Warsan Lakes, Ras’ al Khor, and Safa Park. Some of the better birds seen, among the 120+ species recorded in the area, included Marbled Duck, Honey Buzzard, Shikra, Lesser Kestrel, Sociable Plover, White-tailed Plover, Jack Snipe, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Wire-tailed Swallow, Oriental Skylark, Plain Leaf Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Arabian Babbler, and 12 species of Pipits and Wagtails! We also noted the first of a few near-miss sign translations set up by the Transit Police. Rather than “No U-Turns, Road being monitored”, it read “Don’t look behind you! We’re watching”.

En route to Al Ayn, we swung south towards Abu Dhabi via Ghantoot, Al Wathba Lake, and the Al Wathba Camel Track. Even if it weren’t for the good birds we had, the bizarre experience of birding on a camel race track built for the royalty of the Emirates is more than worth the side trip!!! Though we didn’t score any Hypocolius at the formerly-reliable site of Ghantoot, we were rewarded our efforts with two Gray-throated Martins. Extremely rare in the Middle East, and of yet-debated taxonomy, these two individuals would likely have gone unnoticed had we not had an otherwise slow morning. Of course, plenty of Shrikes and close studies of Desert Whitethroat kept us busy meanwhile.

From Ghantoot we cruised down the Sheik’s highway to Al Wathba. Our second of near-miss translated road signs set out by the Transit Police - rather than “Watch for objects in road”, it proclaimed, “Caution: Surprises in the road”! After we sifted through waders, gulls, flamingoes, and shorebirds at Al Mafraq Lake and the sewage plant spillover, we headed directly to the Al Wathba Camel Track. With all of the sheik’s faces watching us from huge billboards, we proceeded to kick up a wonderful menagerie of Snipes from the reedy seeps. All in, we saw 5 Common Snipe, 1 Pintail Snipe, and 1 Great Snipe!!! Awesome.

Next up, we had the equivalent of 2 full days to explore the Al Ayn area. With a possibility for several of Mr. Master’s target birds, we decided two nights in the Garden City would do us some good! Well, we did so well the first day that we ended up with some free time on our hands. The Green Mubazzarah was certainly the highlight of the area, though Ayn al Faydah provided our “rarest” vagrant of the entire tour – Common Chaffinch (3rd record for UAE)! Including the upper reaches of Jebel Hafeet above the park, best birds were Arabian and Sand Partridges, Egyptian Vulture, Red-tailed and Isabelline Shrikes, Pale Martin, White-throated Robin, Eversmann’s Redstart, Red-tailed, Hume’s, and Hooded Wheatears, Common Rock Thrush, and others. The fodder fields and other sites frequented in the past have been shut to visitors, in recent times. Before we were politely asked to leave, we managed to get great looks at Long-legged Buzzard and Lesser Grey Shrike, before crossing the border into the Sultanate of Oman. We chuckled at the last of the funny near-miss Emirati road signs of the tour. Rather than declaring “No Graffiti”, it read “No writing whatsoever!”

The Sultanate of Oman

The only “hiccup” we encountered in logistics was here, at the border, when one outstandingly friendly agent at the UAE exit forgot to give us exit stamps. He was so excited to be talking to us, that it must have slipped his mind. Of course, this oversight was not missed at the border station upon entering Oman. It became the first time any of had found ourselves “nowhere”. We were in a 30km space between officially being in Oman and officially being out of the UAE. We were precisely, and utterly, nowhere. This lasted for the ninety minutes’ worth of hoop-jumping it took to land ourselves official visas for Oman. It involved sneaking back into the UAE by going to a different border crossing a few miles up the road, minimally explaining our situation to UAE officials there, paying an exit fee, and then being let back across into Oman with marginally proper, but satisfactory, paperwork. In truth, it was pretty excited and a unique experience. Everyone was helpful, and nice. We were sincerely worried for no more than 20 minutes, though it did surprise how easy it was to land ourselves in such a situation.

We earned a Little Pratincole, my only new bird of the tour, in the process. The Buraimi Sewage Lagoons yielded little else of consequence, but this individual made it well worth the stop. Pratincoles are great birds!

From the border crossing at Buraimi we headed East to the Sohar Coast of Oman. We spent the following two days visiting Sun (OCR) Farms, just to the south of Sohar, the mangroves and coast at Shinas, and Khatmat Milahah, near the northern border of the country. Though Great Stone-Curlew was not in evidence, all of our target birds cooperated, and we were again rewarded with a few bonus individuals. We had great views of Persian Shearwater, Socotra Cormorant, Eurasian Stone-Curlew, more White-tailed Plovers, Slender-billed Gull, White-cheeked Tern, Saunder’s Tern, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Pallid Scops-Owl, Steppe Grey Shrike, Bimaculated Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Sykes’s Warbler, Asian Desert Warbler, Menetrie’s Warbler, and a gorgeous male Variable Wheatear.

Our journey turned, at last, Southwards to cross into the sands. We had one morning to bird the Al Ansab/Al HayaWetlands, now under new management, before heading into the Empty Quarter. These wetlands were as spectacular as ever, despite some changes being made to the aspect of the wetlands, allowing interpretive access for groups. We enjoyed views of Baillon’s, Little, and Spotted Crakes! These more than made up for the absence of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (which now seem to visit only in the evenings). We had wonderful views of many species of waterfowl, and shorebirds, but just a brief view of a fascinating passerine. This particular bird had been mentioned to the wetland’s interpretive guide by the previous birding group to visit the site one week prior. He did not tell us of this mysterious individual, until we mentioned it to him. From the looks we got of the bird, it appeared that Reed Bunting was the most likely candidate, though photographs were not obtained for scrutiny. This would serve as one of only a handful of records for the country, if confirmed, but an escaped species of some sort is also quite likely given proximity to aviaries in the Muscat metropolitan area.

We only had one evening to appreciate the volume and diversity of Shorebirds in the Barr Al Hikkman area, on our journey South. This is undoubtedly one of the highest density wintering and staging areas for Shorebirds on the planet. In about one hour of scoping we estimated the following array: 80 Oystercatcher, 600 Crab Plover, 180 Grey Plover, 230 Pacific Golden-Plover, 400 Common Ringed-Plover, 130 Little Ringed Plover, 200 Kentish Plover, 275 Lesser Sand-Plover, 650 Greater Sand-Plovers, 160 Black-tailed Godwit, 1200 Bar-tailed Godwit, 100 Curlew, 700 Spotted Redshank, 280 Redshank, 240 Greenshank, 120 Terek Sandpipers, 150 Great Knot, 2500 Little Stint, 350 Temminck’s Stint, 650 Curlew Sandpipers, 1500 Dunlin, 900 Broad-billed Sandpipers, 150 Ruff, and about 50 Ruddy Turnstones. This volume of shorebirds occupied less than 2kms of shore. This shoreline extends over 70kms around the Barr Hikkman peninsula, and down from the Hijj harbor another 30kms past that. None of this aforementioned expanse of shoreline includes Masirah Island, which is entirely surrounded by the same, shallow, coastline, hosting the same amazing array of birds. Millions of Shorebirds spend their winters here. It is a spectacle not to be missed!

The two days that followed this brief visit were the most anticipated of the whole tour. The Central Desert oases are always exciting to visit. In migration, something rare and wonderful inevitably shows up. Of course, these oases are also the haunt of the enigmatic Grey Hypocolius! As recently as 15 years ago, this species was considered rare, even a vagrant, to Oman. With more regular coverage, and an obvious trend of this species incorporating Oman as a regular wintering ground, Hypocolius is now considered a regular winter visitor in decent numbers.

We stopped once or twice en route to Qatbit from Barr Hikkman, enjoying views of Bar-tailed Lark, among others. Upon arriving at Qatbit, we got settled in at the guesthouse, ate lunch, took a quick nap, and it was less than 90 minutes, total, that we heard our first Hypocolius! We had an easy time finding 4 individuals, 2 females and 2 males. We enjoyed looks at these same 4 birds both days. This was the main reason for Mr. Master’s intense interest in the region. For him, Hypocolius represented one of the last two families on Earth, that he had not seen a representative of. What an accomplishment!

Now, being a magnet for wintering visitors and migrants, we wanted to bird the Qatbit oases thoroughly. We were rewarded with tons of great birds including Eurasian Scops-Owl (on roost during the day), Masked Shrike, Hume’s Leaf Warbler (8th record for Oman), Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Song Thrush, Bluethroat, more Menetrie’s Warblers, and Black Redstart! The other must-visit site in the Central Desert of Oman is the Muntasar Oasis, some 30kms out on dirt roads. The big draw to this remote site is the Sandgrouse spectacle. From dozens to hundreds of Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse congregate at the open water to drink. Seeing flocks of these zooming in, low over the sand, is an amazing sight! Always heard before seen, it is amazing how well these birds blend in to their desert environs, even in flight. We had good numbers of both species. Crowned Sandgrouse appeared earlier in the morning, and were far outnumbered by their Spotted cousins, which typically arrive later. Other good birds at the oasis included another obliging Asian Desert Warbler. Though the birds at Muntasar were great, the camels stole the show. A large group came shuffling in from the North, right up to our car….trying to peer their head in through the windows!!! It was so much fun to watch these iconic beasts of burden, no doubt belonging to the Bedouin tribes nearby, as they bathed in the pools, rolled in the dust, and had a good time of their own.

Our final birding destination was the small region in southern Oman known as the Dhofar. The Dhofar is a monsoon-affected mountainous region that receives much more annual precipitation than any other comparable site in Oman. Indeed, it receives more precipitation than anywhere else on the Arabian Peninsula, save for sites in Yemen and far southeast Saudi Arabia. The mountains, though not reaching above 1400m elevation, are very steep and near to the coast, trapping the humidity, forming steep wadi ravines and pools. This water and relatively lush vegetation attracts a completely distinct avifauna, and is the most species-rich region of the whole tour. A fine note to end on!

During our three-day stay in the Dhofar, we visited a few farm sites, several wadis and springs, and the astonishing Tawi Atayr sinkhole in search of raptors, passerines, and the like. We spent a fair bit of time at the various wonderful Khawrs and estuaries in the region, and made time for a bit of seawatching. We couldn’t visit this diverse area and not sample the array of seabirds, waterfowl, Gulls, Terns, and Waders though they were not our primary focus.

The highlights of these final few days of our adventure included Jouanin’s Petrel, 15 species of raptors including Crested Honey Buzzard, Bruce’s Green-Pigeon, Arabian Scops-Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl, the most incredibly obliging Hume’s Owl ever(!!!), Percival’s (Black-crowned) Tchagra, Dunn’s Lark, Scrub Warbler, Tristram’s Starling, Arabian Wheatear, Hooded Wheatear, all three Sunbirds (Nile Valley, Palestine, Shining), the extremely range-restricted Yemen Serin, and the biggest prize of our time at this area – Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak. This last individual can be tricky so early in the year, as it is mostly silent before breeding. Hope was severely waning, and our departure was nigh, when we heard the telltale “Wink wink!” Patience paid off, and we all had looks at this rare species.

We wrapped up the experience with a final nighttime view of Dubai, as our flight gained altitude, and veered West. I once heard that birding is “a series of uncomfortable situations remembered fondly”. I laughed when I first heard it, and I still do now. But, it is also nice to know that birding can be a series of very pleasant, seamless, experiences remembered fondly, as well. I look forward to returning next year, and discovering what new surprises are in store for us.

Species Lists

“*” denotes vagrant <10 records

Partridges Phasianidae
Chukar Alectoris chukar
Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala
Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi
Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus

Ducks, Geese, and Swans Anatidae
Greylag Goose Anser anser
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptica
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus
Gadwall Anas strepera
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Garganey Anas querquedula
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Marbled Duck* Marmaronetta angustirostris*
Pochard Aythya ferina
Ferruginous Duck Aythya niroca
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula

Petrels and Shearwaters Procllaridae
Persian Shearwater Procellaria persicus
Jouanin's Petrel Bulweria fallax

Grebes Podicipedidae
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis

Flamingos Phoenicopteridae
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus

Tropicbirds Phaethontidae
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aetherus

Storks Ciconiidae
White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Ibis and Spoonbills Threskiornithidae
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

Herons and Bitterns Ardeidae
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
Western Cattle Egret Bulbulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis

Pelicans Pelicanidae
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onacrotalus

Gannets and Boobies Sulidae
Masked Booby Sula dactylatra
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Cormorants Phalacrocoracidae
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrigularis

Ospreys Pandionidae
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Kites, Hawks, and Eagles Accipitridae
European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
Crested Honey Buzzard* Pernis ptilorhynchus*
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Egyptian Vulture Neophon percnopterus
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus
Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
Shikra Accipiter badius
European Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga
Steppe Eagle Aquila nepalensis
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata
Booted Eagle Hieraaeuts pennatus
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Rails, Crakes, and Coots Rallidae
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Little Crake Porzana parva
Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Thick-knees and Stone-Curlews Burhinidae
Eurasian Stone-Curlew Burhinus oedicnemis
Oystercatchers Haemotopidae
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haemotopus ostralegus
Crab-Plover Dromadidae
Crab Plover Dromas ardeola

Avocets and Stilts Recurvirostridae
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Pied Avocet Recurvirostridae avosetta

Plovers Charadriidae
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius
White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Lesser Sand-Plover Charadrius mongolus
Greater Sand-Plover charadrius leschenaultii

Sandpipers and Snipes Scolopacidae
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
Great Snipe Gallinago media
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquatus
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stangatilis
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucus
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Great Knot Calidirs tenuirostris
Sanderling Calidris alba
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinella
Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Coursers and Pratincoles Glareolidae
Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor
Little Pratincole Glareola lactea

Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers Laridae
Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei
Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus rubindus
Sooty Gull Ichthyaetus hemprichii
Common Gull Larus canus
Caspian Gull Larus cachinanns
Yellow-legged "Heuglin's" Gull Larus micahellis heuglini
Yellow-legged "Steppe" Gull Larus micahellis barabensis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus fuscus
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergeii
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis
Saunder's Tern Sternula saundersi
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
White-cheeked Tern Strena repressa
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus

Jaegers and Skuas Stercorariidae
Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus

Sandgrouse Pteroclididae
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus
Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus

Pigeons and Doves Columbidae
Rock Dove Colomba livia
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Bruce's Green Pigeon Treron waalia

Parrots Psittacidae
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittcaula eupatria
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri

Barn Owls Tytonidae
Western Barn Owl Tyto alba

Typical Owls Strigidae
Pallid Scops-Owl Otus brucei
African "Arabian" Scops-Owl Otus senegalensis arabicus
Eurasian Scops-Owl Otus scops
Spotted Eagle-Owl Bubo africanus
Hume's Owl Strix butleri

Goatsuckers Caprimulgidae
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus

Swifts Apodidae
Common Swift Apus apus
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
Little Swift Apus affinus

Rollers Coraciidae
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis

Kingfishers Alcedinidae
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris kalbaensis
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

Bee-eaters Meropidae
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis

Hoopoes Upupidae
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

Bushshrikes Malaconotidae
Black-crowned "Percival's" Tchagra Tchagra senegalensis percevali

Shrikes Laniidae
Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus
Red-tailed Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor
Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius palludirostris
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus

Monarchs Monarchidae
African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

Crows and Jays Corvidae
House Crow Corvus splendens
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis
Fan-tailed Raven Corvus rhupidurus

Hypocolius Hypocoliidae
Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus

Larks Alaudidae
Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans
Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes
Bimaculated Lark Melanocorypha bimaculata
Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens
Dunn's Lark Eremalauda dunni
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps

Bulbuls Pycnonotidae
White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotus
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos

Swallows and Martins Hirundinidae
Grey-throated Martin* Riparia (paludicola) chinensis*
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Pale Martin Riparia (riparia) diluta
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Pale Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne obsoleta
Common House-Martin Delichon urbicum

Bush Warblers and Allies Cettiidae
Scrub Warbler Scotocercus inquieta
Leaf Warblers and Allies Phylloscopidae
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Plain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus neglectus
Hume's Leaf Warbler* Phylloscopus humei*
Reed Warblers and Allies Acrocephalidae
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus brunnens
Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Sykes's Warbler Iduna rama
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida
Cisticolas and Allies Cisticolidae
Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis

Laughingthrushes Leiothriciidae
Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps

Sylvia Babblers, Parrotbills, Myzornis Sylviidae
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minula
Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassicrostris
Arabian "Red Sea" Warbler Sylvia leucomelanae
Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Menetrie's Warbler Sylvia mystacea

White-eyes Zosteropidae
Abyssinian White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus

Starlings, Rhabdornis Sturnidae
Bank Myna Acridotheris ginginianus
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Pied Myna Gracupica contra
Rosy Starling Pastor roseus
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Tristram's Starling Onychognathus tristramii

Thrushes Turdidae
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Old World Flycatchers Muscicapidae
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis
Eversmann's Redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochrurus
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellinus
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe Oenanthe
Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata
Hume's Wheatear Oenanthe albonigra
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha
Blackstart Oenanthe melanura
Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxisilis
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius

Sunbirds Nectariniidae
Nile Valley Sunbird Hedydipna metallica
Palestine Sunbird Cynniris osea
Shining Sunbird Cynniris habyssinicus
Purple Sunbird Cynniris asiaticus

Old World Sparrows Passeridae
House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Weavers and Widowbirds Ploceidae
Ruppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula

Waxbills, Munias, and Allies Estrildidae
African Silverbill Euodice cantans
Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata

Wagtails and Pipits Motacillidae
Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi
Blyth's Pipit Anthus godlewski
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
Tree Pipit Anthus trvialis
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta

Finches Fringillidae
Common Chaffinch* Fringilla coelebs*
Yemen Serin Crithagra menachensis
Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus percivali

Buntings, Sparrows, and Allies Emberizidae
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
Reed Bunting* (???) Emberiza schoeniclus* (???)

Common "Arabian" Jackal Canis aureus arabicus
Rueppel's Sand Fox Vulpes ruepellii
Arabian Camel Camelus dromedarius