Dalma Island is a large island 43 km northwest of Jebel Dhanna ferry terminal.
Directions and access:
There are now regular ferries from Jebel Dhanna to Dalma Island, crossing takes appx. 90 minutes.
Timetable of the new car-ferry click here, the cost is appx. AED 100 pr car and AED 20 pr person.
ID required (either UAE ID card, Driving Licence or Passport) and vehicle registration card.
You need to be at the terminal 30 minutes early to purchase a ticket.
A motel is open on the island. As I have never visited, but it is supposed to be very, very basic and fantastically overpriced. Phone hotel on +971 2 878 1222. Camping is possible on the beach.
Might this be the best UAE migrant and vagrant hotspot? The birding potential is huge, but it is rarely visited.
Between 1990-2009 it was visited 1 time.
Between 2010-2015 it was visited 25 times, and that is not a lot.
185 species (excluding escapes) have been recorded as of January 2020.
Notable records include;
- Red-billed Tropicbird
- Black-eared Kite
- Pallas's Gull (regular Dec-March)
- Saunders's Tern (regular spring to autumn)
- Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
- Namaqua Dove
- Egyptian Nightjar
- Little Swift (wintered 2014/15)
- Indian Roller (!!)
- Bay-backed Shrike (1990)
- Masked Shrike
- Asian Paradise Flycatcher (first for Western Palearctic 27 Oct 2011)
- Hypocolius (regular each winter)
- Calandra Lark
- Lesser Short-toed Lark
- Yellow-browed Warbler
- Great Reed Warbler
- Common Grasshopper Warbler
- Common Blackbird (2011)
- Black-throated Thrush
- Eversmann's Redstart
- European Robin
- Mourning Wheatear
- Pale Rockfinch
- Yellow-throated Sparrow
- Long-billed Pipit
- Buff-bellied Pipit
Simon Lloyd writes:
Delma seems to comprise of mainly vegetation-less volcanic rock, but there are plenty of plantations and farms around the coastal road. By far the most interesting place was a very long plantation, oddly named the Cornish Forest, that stretched the whole length of the west coast. I successfully gained access in the morning and was able to walk the whole length and back in about 3 hours.
See images prepared by Graham Talbot below.