26th January 2023
I observed 2 Oriental Honey Buzzard, including this female, drifting over the park
From Birmingham Airport, I arrived at Abu Dhabi, UAE, last night for a transfer to the next destination. I’ve passed through this airport many times before but this time, I had to stay overnight before I flew out to the country where I’ve planned to stay for a few weeks. As I was staying in Al Jazira Club Hotel, I was only a twenty minute walk from Umm Al-Emarat Park. This morning, I was at the entrance just before 10.00. Twenty minutes in and it was the usual common species that were on show. Red-vented and White-eared Bulbul, Laughing and Collard Dove, Grey Francolin, Alexandrine Parakeet, White Wagtail were all over the shop. While Indian Silverbill, Delicate Prina and Purple Sunbird were in smaller numbers. The latter three were the only new species that I had never seen before. The area just didn’t give me that vibe as when I’ve been in other parks in the Middle East, Kuwait and Oman for example.
One of the most commonest birds were White-eared Bulbul
But only a handful of Red-vented Bulbul.
Grey Francolin were widespread in the open areas
And included this leucitic individual
Collard Dove having a strench
Sleeping Indian Silverbill
I guess the dull weather played it’s part in keeping the butterflies low down but I did manage to catch this Plain Tiger.
It was coming up to the hour and it was while climbing the steps of The Shade House that I caught onto an Oriental Honey Buzzard headed towards me. I immediately rushed up to the third level and as the buzzard passed, I was the deck trying to get my breath back. I was now looking down at the female as it easily flew by into the stiff SW breeze. Once that had disappeared, being above the trees, I could see all over the park and picked up 2 Gull-billed Tern hawking the only large open areas. Standing on the lawn, trying to get pics of the terns, my attention was on the nearby acacias as there were 2 Shrikes in them. A last, the birding was improving. The first I had a look at was a male Isabeline Shrike but the another had a tan crown and I identified it as a Red-tailed Shrike. After leaving the shrikes I got onto distant raptor and it turned out to be a male Oriental Honey Buzzard. This was followed by a Marsh Harrier, high north followed by a Steppe Gull, south. For the next hour, nothin else of note although the female OHB made three more appearances over the park and after over two hours, it turned out to be not so bad in the end.
By the time this female Oriental Honey Buzzard flew over the park, the sun had gone in and for most of the rest of the day, it was dull.
However, this male Oriental Buzzed was distant
There were 2 Gull-billed Tern spending all their time hawking over the large open area.
This crackin male Isabeline Shrike was only on show briefly.
But this male Red-tailed Shrike performed very well out in the open
In and out of the park, stray cats were very common and often you would come across bowls of water and food put out for them on paths put by locals.
Looking south from the structure, The Shade House.
I left the park and made a twenty minute stroll to the nearby Abu Dhabi Golf Club. After goin through security, I was on the south side of the golf course looking at a tiny pool and on it were 2 Little Grebe and a single Ferruginous Duck. On the banks of the pool and area were 6 Red-wattled Plover with over 100 Black-headed Gull. Unfortunately, I could see the dark clouds coming in and my time here was cut short as I returned to my hotel before I got soaked to the bone. The downpour only lasted over an hour and I was told later on that it only rains here twice a year!! Well I didn’t pack any waterproofs as the one day that I’m in Abu Dhabi, I really didn’t expect that I needed them.
Hidden behind a large boulder, the Ferruginous Duck and Little Grebe had no idea I was there and as a result I got very close range views.
While the Red-wattled Plover stayed put as I was only a few meters away from them
Just before the rain
Mick Lynch in South Wales – “It’s time for a general strike”
Share5 27 views Jan 26th, 2023
Amazon workers are now on strike. The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch, delivers a powerful speech to a packed church in Aberdare, south Wales, and talks to voice.wales about the need for a general strike. Also featuring the brilliant Cwmdare male voice choir.
Shot and edited by Adwitiya Pal in January 2023