Saturday, 4 December 2010


During a trip to Gabel Elba from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, a total of seven different species of wheatear were recorded. There were tens of Kurdish Wheatears Oenanthe xanthoprymna, one of the commonest birds around Gebel Elba in winter. On Dec. 1, a male Persian Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia was seen and photographed, the second record for Egypt (the first also being from Gebel Elba). There were five species of Sylvia warblers, including at least 2 Cyprus Warblers and 3 Menetries’s Warblers. Several Hume’s Tawny Owls were heard. Other Elba specialties recorded included: Arabian Warbler, Shining Sunbird, Rosy-Patched Shrike, Fulvous Babbler and Fan-tailed Raven. On Dec 1st on the coastal plain a Grey Hypocolius was observed - an Egyptian rarity. A Basalt Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens picata was photographed at Shalateen on Dec 2nd, which represents the first record for Egypt and potentially for Africa.

Incredibly, a dead bird photographedon Oct. 30 by Ahmed Badry Sayed (Elba Protected Area Ranger) on the coast at Adal Deeb, was subsequently identified as a BROAD-BILLED ROLLER Eurystomus glaucurus, the first record for Egypt.

Local fishermen confirmed the long-suspected breeding of Crab Plover Dromas ardeola on small sandy islets off Marsa Shaab south of Salateen, describing perfectly the nests and breeding behaviour in a colony found during summer 2010.

Sightings by: Sherif Baha El Din and Ahmed Badry Sayed

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