Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 6, 2017

Mirfa, UAE Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:03 pm

Al Marfa Birds

The first stop after the Ajban fields was the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. ( For more information visit or phone 800555.) It was closed when I got there. It is only open on Tuesdays and Saturday from 10-2 or something like that. But check on the website above. There were a heap of Greater Flamingos, a couple of Grey Francolin, and the obligatory White-eared Bulbuls.

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)

I did not hang around but set the gps for Al Marfa. I had enough of congested cities and full-bore traffic. The roads here are dead straight and smooth as silk. Everyone except me drives really fast. There is not much to see except sand and more sand. Eventually I got to the turnoff to Al Marfa and drove into the harbour and had a look at the beach.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

(I am not totally sure about this one. It could be a Common Ringed Plover.) I got the camera out and walked along the beach boardwalk. Later I found out that photography is strictly forbidden on the beach. doh!

Grey Plover i think
Grey Plover (Pluvialus squatarola)

(Another one I am not sure about. It could be a Pacific Golden Plover. I went with Grey Plover because of the larger head and longer, stouter bill, and white bars on rump.) I camped that night out of town between the road trees and a plantation. My airbed keeps going down and sleeping on the hard ground is getting to be a drag. Next morning I woke, stretched my aching back and headed for the harbour where the fishing boats are dragged in. It was low tide and there were a few waders on the mudflats. I am having lots of trouble differentiating the plovers. Waders are my bug-bear.

White Wagtail
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

So the good news was that I photographed a few new birds so that is the aim of the exercise. Breakfast time consisted of oats, milk, sugar and a cup of tea. Yum. So now it was off to the library which I found after a drive around town, after discovering the supermarket. The library is awesome. Tables for working on the laptop, electricity to charge the devices and free wifi. Very nice.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

This Striated Heron seems to have more rufous in the chest and surrounds to the wing feathers (primaries?).

Mystery bird
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) afaik

No idea about this one. doh! (Still not sure, just guessing).

Dunlin or Sanderling ?
Sanderling (Calidris alba) .

I am hopeless with waders. Please help. (Thanks to Pete for the ID).

Al Wathba and Al Marfa birds list

Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondiceranus)
White-eared Bulbul
Eurasian Collared Dove
Laughing Dove
Western Reef Egret (Egretta gularis) dark morph.
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)

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