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Jordan Day 3 Aqaba 6th BLACK BUSH ROBIN

4th March 2023

I came to Jordan for the migrants but also, my mission was in finding a Black Bush Robin and this afternoon, I can’t believe it, I discovered the 6th Jordan Record a few miles east of Aqaba Bird observatory.

Made the twenty five minute cycle from my digs to Aqaba Bird Observatory to get there for 08.00 when it opened up. No problem with getting past the soldiers at the checkpoint this time and what’s the first species I see when scanning the sewage ponds, 2 Oriental Honey Buzzard. While one was perched in a tree, the other individual was circling the same tree. It appeared as though the two birds had been roosting in the large eucalypti’s Trees to the east of the obs. It wasn’t long before the first Pallid Swift started to arrive and an hour later there were over 500 birds with some 40 Swift, 40 Swallow, 100 Sand and 2 House Martin. Standing on the south side, I picked up distantly, the third Oriental Honey Buzzard. In the same binocular view, I could see three geese coming from the north. 2 Egyptian Geese and a small grey goose. Pink-footed Goose was in my head but as they came closer, I should of known, when I realised that I was looking at a LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE! The three birds continued south straight through where I lost them. No idea how many Jordanian records there are but I guess it’s a good on. After seeing my first ever Lesser White-fronted Geese in Oman, I really didn’t expect to see another one less than a month later. There were now 24 Little Stint, 2 Little-ringed, 2 Kentish and 14 Ringed Plover and from 70 yesterday to now 16 Green Sandpiper.

Pallid Swift photo bombing the pale phase Oriental Honey Buzzard

The LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE arriving in from the north with 2 Egyptian Geese Later on I was told that it’s the same individual that’s been seen on and off since 2018.

Yesterday out of the 130 Pallid Swift, I didn’t spot a single Swift but today there were up to 40 birds

Over 500 Pallid Swift is the most that I’ve ever seen and they had all disappeared by the afternoon.

Later in the morning, a White-winged Black Tern arrived in from the south with a single Armenian and 33 Slender-billed Gull and a single Black-tailed Godwit flew straight through north. The ducks were more or less the same numbers as yesterday and were all put up when the Great Spotted Eagle, that’s wintering in the area, flew south low on the west side followed by the Marsh Harrier and Long-legged Buzzard. There were also single Pied and White-throated Kingfisher and there were now 2 Black-headed Wagtail and 4 Water Pipit but just a single Citrine Wagtail. Returning to the obs, I spotted a crackin male Spanish Sparrow with the large numbers of House Sparrow and as I had just left the obs gate, making my ways home, I had a Tawny Pipit and Siberian Stonechat at the side of the road.

Pallid Swift photobombing a White-winged Black Tern arriving in from the south.

The wintering Great Spotted Eagle made a low fly through

Citrine Wagtail

Only 2 Black-headed Wagtail but that’s goin to rise as the week progresses

From a single yesterday to 4 Water Pipit today

A few minutes from the checkpoint at the first roundabout, as usual, I took the first right to get back to the city. Another few minutes and I took another right down a single track to Al Haq Farm. Turning the corner at a speed, I slammed the brakes on hard and almost went over the handlebars. Directly in front of me, to the right on the broad verge way, was the unmistakable shape of a BLACK BUSH ROBIN side on with it’s extremely long tail touching the sky! I had found one in three days of birding Aqaba!! There are more sightings being reported each yeasr as the species is breeding further north expanding it’s range but I never thought I would find the 6th Jordanian sighting myself!! I needed to get a pic and getting the sun behind me, I pished. Immediately, with a single Reed and 2 Sardinian Warbler, the Black Bush Robin sat at the top of a Rose Bush showing off in the sun! It disappeared and I looked to the sky to see 4 Steppe Eagle moving east towards the mountains. Then I was kicked of the property as it was apparently private. I didn’t give a damn as I had accomplished my mission and cycled to the bakery to grab six potato bread fresh from the oven, to celebrate! Boy, they taste so good!

Still can’t believe I turned up the 6th BLACK BUSH ROBIN for Jordan but after finding all those mega rarities in other countries that I’ve visited in the last six weeks, it kinda of didn’t come as a shock when I came across this beauty.

4 Steppe Eagles moved through east

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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