Observers: Didier Vieuxtemps, Thomas de Thier, Jacques Leclercq, Marc Ameels
We arrived on Saturday 1st March 2003 at Dubai National Airport. Our trip started from the Dubai Youth Hotel (65 Dirhams/night/person) located close to the airport. A 4-wheel drive car was not used (too expensive) and in any case all spots were easy to access except Whimpey pit (4x4 car needed). Be careful with the use of binoculars in Abu Dhabi city.
Common species were not accurately counted and therefore numbers given in this report are only indicative. Some species are only noted by presence (p).
With regards the "gull" question I have adopted, in this report, the nomenclature used by Martin Garner (Emirat Bird report N°19) referring to "form":
I have lumped the "cachinans" and "ponticus" forms as Steppe Yellow-legged Gull. Only the darkest form of Siberian (Heuglin's) Gulls were specifically identified. Due to clinal variation "heuglini" and "taimyrensis" forms are not subspecifically assigned.
1st March 2003: Youth hotel: 1 african rock martin, crested larks, 2 tawny pipits, 1 isabelline wheater, our first pallid swift.
Dubai Zabeel fish pond: 1 spotted eagle, 1 booted eagle, 1 daurian shrike and our first hoopoe and indian roller, pallid swifts, 50 grey francolins (introduced species), 4 red-wattled plovers.
Khor Dubai reserve: Fenced natural reserve - no entrance. You might be ejected by police even outside the reserve. 2 caspian terns, 1 terek sandpiper and many little stints, dunlins, 1 whimbrel, >10 grey plovers, 1 lesser sand plover, 100 flamingos, >20 pallid swifts (but the police didn't let us check the birds).
Dubai creek park: 1 daurian shike, 1 turkestan shrike. And our first pied wheater (1 male) and 2 purple sunbirds, 2 siberian (heuglin's) gulls, many baraba yellow-legged gulls and/or caspian gulls in flight, chiffchaffs (p), 2 hoopoes, prinias (p), few house crows (p).
2nd March 2003: Khor al Beida: 15 crab plovers, 5 great egrets, 10 western-reef herons, 15 grey herons, black-tailed and bar-tailed godwits, 1 spotted eagle, 3 greater sand plovers, 3 gull-billed terns, 20 terek sandpipers, many little stints, 2 curlew sandpipers, 1 curlew (orientalis race), 3 oystercatchers, many sand plovers not specifically determined, 5 indian rollers, 5 little green bee-eaters, hoopoe, <5 terek sandpipers.
Al Jazeerah Khor: 1 short toed eagle, 2 crab plovers, few lesser and greater sand plovers (<10), 1 striated heron, 1 osprey, 5 menetries warblers, 1 ruppell's warbler (1st for UAE), 3 orphean warblers (crassirostris). 1 desert lesser whitethroat, 2 plain leaf warblers, 2 arabian babblers, 1 isabelline shrike, >100 swifts (pallid and common), 1 sparrowhawk, 30 grey francolins, 1 marsh harrier, 20 little green bee-eaters, hoopoe, 1 swallow, 5 tawny pipits, 1 "eastern" black redstart, 2 pied wheaters, 1 song thrush, 10 desert warblers, 5 lesser whitethroats, 1 pale rock sparrow, 6 indian silverbills, 3 southern grey shrike "aucheri", <5 purple sunbirds, >1 slender-billed gull.