Sila birds Friday 16 March 2012
Sila birds on my first bird-watching trip
Friday 16 March 2012
Strated from Dubai at 5am and returned by 7.30pm, covered 912km, time spent in Sila Park and its neighbourhood 5 hours with 30 minutes Friday prayer and lunch break and noted the following:
Steppe Grey shrike-3
Southern Grey Shrike-2
Song Thrush -2
Menetriesís Warbler-4 and
Asian desert Warbler- 4 and
Chfichaff-3 on 4 neighbouring Tencomella undulata or ferfer trees laden with the largest flowers of the UAE possibly drinking nectar and gathering insects.
White-eared Bulbul- 50+
House Sparrow- 100+
White Wagtail- 12
Rufoustailed Bush Robin-1
Indian Silverbill- 4 building nest on c.10m high Washintonia fillifera tree[1st time noted such a high nest]
Pallid Harrier- 1 male
1 Kestrel and 1 Water Pipit got dropped from the list posted
Also heard Bee-eaters and Crested Lark but did not see them. It was windy.
NOTE:_Glad not to see invasive species such as H Crow, C. Myna, Bank Myna, Parakeets, Grey Francolin, Red-vented Bulbul
but sad not to see Indian Roller and purple Sunbird that have not yet been able to extend their natural range extension. This may take another half a century when there will be more shabias-human settlements and/or forest and man-made gardens between Musaffah and Tarif, Tarif and Mirfa, Mirfa and RUwais, and Ruwais and Sila.
Last edited by drrezakhan; 17-03-2012 at 09:11.
Dr. Reza Khan
The Shikra is of special interest as it is a vagrant this far west and requires a Rare Bird Report. Did you get any photos of it? How was it identified?
Who new a shikra would make a record! Twice I tried to take pictures but it was keeping to large trees, from one to the next and in the process i lost interest because i thought it is such common bird why to bother for a picture!
Dr. Reza Khan
Where did you see it? In the two small orchards near the souk? There is a pair of Sparrowhawks that have been there through the winter, often all you see is a shape flicking through the trees and the bulbuls panicking. Having been to Sila'a twice in the last 2 weekends, I've seen them in the same spot on both occasions - sometimes over the large plantation too. Shikra would be a major rarity that far west - pretty major outside of Dubai, in fact!
I think I saw you in the park on Friday. Sorry I didn't recognise you, but you were over on the far side and you'd left before I got round that far. Looks like the shrikes put on a good show for you too!
(ps I think your Desert Warbler is a female Menetries' and the labels on the Turkestan & Daurian shrikes are the wrong way round.)
Thanks a lot Mark for correcting the names and sexes of species I have mentioned.
You are also right in confirming that the bird i thought a shikra would be a sparrow-hawk.
When did you enter the park?
I was betw 9.30 and 11am then went back of it and the EAD's huge plantation.
By any chance have you noticed on the park entrance boad it says Fri-Satdays are for families! It took me some tgime before i could get enough courgae to enter the park and then found the security personnel who were very kind to allow me to look around. As u r visiting it almost regularly do you know whether the park authoriuty follows any hard and fast rule for visitor entry or that notice carries little or no value?
Dr. Reza Khan
It's difficult to advise as it depends upon the guy on security. As a general rule, I have found that they are OK if you visit on a morning. If families are there, they are more likely to refuse entry - the ONLY time I have been turned away was on a Thursday afternoon and that was the ONLY time I have gone after 12 o'clock.
More of an issue seems to be cameras. Many of the guys have had problems being allowed in with their gear - often told to apply to an office somewhere for a permit. It seems they worry that you might make lots of money selling books about Sila'a Park. (Hmmm, not sure I can see Amazon racing to sign up to list that one........)
Best bet is just walk in. If they don't want you there, they'll ask you to leave. I'm sure you've lived here long enough to know the score regarding cameras and families, etc, so you will have some idea when and when not to go. Hope you found it worth gathering up the courage. It's not always that full of birds, but it the one single spot in Sila'a most likely to produce a real goodie.
Thanks a lot for the detailed clarifications. I will try to keep these in mind in the future. Reza khan
Dr. Reza Khan