Thursday 22 October 2009

22 October - In search of the Arabian Bustard

Today the main goal was to search for the very rare and 'most wanted' Arabian Bustard at a certain area of the Tihama plain. Yousuf had hired a local weeks ago to find out where the bustards were supposed to be. Unfortunately, this local was very unfair and cancelled the mission early in morning during our breakfast. We anayway went to the place where Yousuf had seen an Arabian Bustard a few weeks ago. With help from locals from several small villages we searched through the area for several hours, but with no luck. Yousuf's effort in this very mission was incredible! However, we had a nice day in the heat of the Tihama plain and lots of kind locals around us!

Exhausted and hungry we had a late lunch. After the tasty lunch of lamb, rise, vegetables, mixed meat and bread there were not many hours left for birding. We headed towards Al Hodeidah and visited two sites before dawn, which produced nice sightings.

Sightings worthy of mention: Dark Chanting Goshawk (3), Gabar Goshawk (2), Spotted Thick-knee (1), Namaqua Dove (25), African Palm Swift (150), Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (a flock of 200!), Abyssian Roller (10), Black-crowned Sparrow-lark (30), Black Scrub Robin (5), Isabelline Wheatear (50), Isabelline Shrike (15) and Arabian Golden Sparrow (80).

Tomorrow we will spend all day along the Red Sea coast and wetland areas.

Time for bed! Cheers

Typical houses at the Tihama plain. Photo: Niklas Holmström.

A lovely Dark Chanting Goshawk. Photo: Ulf Ståhle.

Male Arabian Golden Sparrow. Photo: Ulf Ståhle.

One Blue-cheeked Bee-eater out of a flock of 200! Photo: Ulf Ståhle.

An exhausted and hungry party. Photo: Niklas Holmström.

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