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Jordan Day 9 Aqaba seafront allotments

10th March 2023

The city seafront allotments was on fire this afternoon and produced the goods including this corker of a male Eastern Redstart

With some folks from the digs I’m staying at, I joined them for the short drive to Wadi Rum. I didn’t do any birding but still managed to see, Desert Lark, 3 Black Kite, and Brown-necked Raven, Isabeline and this Hooded Wheatear.

Late afternoon and I made my way to town. Here I had some delicious local food and then got some dates and nuts to eat near the beach where it was overcrowded. I forgot it was Friday but as I got stuck into my nuts, I couldn’t help but notice a Lesser Whitethroat just above me with a Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler calling nearby. I was only goin to stick around for twenty minutes, see if the Masked Shrike was still present, and then explore the area. I cycled to the east end and on the first allotment I had a look at, in a very tiny area, 4 whitethroat, 3 Eastern Bonelli’s and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, and a single Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Bluethroat and 4 Hoopoe. Ideal start and in the next hour, I stuck around the same area, basically just concentrated on three allotments and it was obvious that there had been an arrival of new birds in. It was while I was looking south from the allotment, that I spotted a large tern slowly passing by very close in shore. Caspian Tern and I scrabbled to get on the bike. By the time I had made the 2 second cycle ride, the tern was flying away back on. However, there was a single White-eyed Gull and Western Reef Heron, an Osprey east and in off the sea, 8 Red-rumped Swallow heading NNW.

Out of all the Bluethroat that I’ve come across in Aqaba, this is the only white-spotted that I’ve seen so far. Unfortunately this male stuck around in the dark of a large acacia.

One of the 4 Hoopoe

Lesser Whitethroat

White Wagtail are all over the shop

The next allotment was larger in size and basically held the same species at the beginning. However, after hanging around, just taking my time, from one end to the other and repeating that quite a few times, I was spotting new species. There were 2 Eastern Olivaceous and 2 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Red-throated Pipit and a single Sedge Warbler and White-throated Kingfisher. It was at the east end of this allotment that the highlights were hanging out. 2 Cretzschmar’s Bunting were feeding on the public steps, showing well very briefly, before being pushed into the gardens by the many folks passing by and it was when I was trying to relocate the bunting that I turned up a Barred Warbler. Great stuff and I crossed the road and tried out the next allotment. Immediately I was on a stonking male Eastern Redstart. More Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroat and a single Whitethroat. I never had time to check out anywhere else and returning home, I gave it a minutes and again I could see the Masked Shrike.

Hiding behind a fence from the road, this Eastern Olivaceous Warbler just kept closer and closer towards me, feeding in the weeds, until I was almost on top of it.

There were up to 3 Red-throated Pipit

The last time I saw Cretzschmar’s Bunting was three year ago, just down road, when I had 8 birds together during a storm at Sharm El sheikh, Egypt

And I really wasn’t thinkin about a Barred Warbler turning up in the allotments

The icing on the cake was this stonking male Eastern Redstart. Like the bunting, the only other place I’ve seen this race, was also the same sight during the same storm when there were two birds together.

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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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