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Friday, May 27, 2011

Extreme Migrant in the UAE - Franklin's Gull 20.05.11

An extreme migrant, 1st Record of Franklin's Gull in the UAE - it all started here Birding Forum thanks to Dr Reza Khan !

Discovered on Tuesday 17th I had to wait till Friday morning before I could get out there.
Very early start (got up 4:15am yawn !) arrived at 6:15am . Thought I was early , however Ahmed and Steve were already there !   Amongst all the Sooty Gulls the bird was relatively easy to find on the stretch of beach close to Fujeirah Port.,  it seemed pretty settled until a bunch of Fisherman started to haul their nets so off it flew,  fortunately only 150m away where it quickly settled again.  As the sun was rising over the sea it was obvious that the only way to get good light was to approach the bird from the sea.    The tide was coming in and the waves were very high - was not long before I was completely drenched by the odd Tsunami that caught me by surprise. Seems my camera is water resistant - glad about that !   You can hear the waves lapping around me in the video.

Article in the UAE National !  National Article







Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)


Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

UAE Pelagic 07.05.11

Belated Blog I'm afraid. Another Pelagic into the Gulf of Oman last weekend. Proved to be one of the best for me yet ! I got a lifer in Wedge-Tailed Shearwater of which I saw 2. Our boatman is now getting very experienced and is able to spot these birds on the horizon better than we can ! He is also now very adept at chasing Shearwaters and keeping them alongside the boat. However bouncing the waves at 40-50 Km/h trying to focus on a moving Shearwater, which are the most excellent fliers, is an extremely difficult task indeed !! Many many shots show bits of blurry shearwater and often nothing at all ! But you will always get one or two that are in frame and sharp :-)

Wedge-Tailed Shearwater 2
Sooty Shearwater 10+
Flesh-footed Shearwater 1
Persian Shearwater 300+
Red-knecked Phalarope 8
Bridled Tern 30
Arctic Skua 1


Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus)
Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus)
Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus)

Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes)

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)