Fabulous United Arab Emirates - Part 1
My first real blog has to be about the UAE. I have lived there for 13 years and just relocated back to the UK. Not the first place you might think of when looking for a photo tour, however it is an amazing place for photography all year round especially during spring and autumn migrations with varied habitats such as Desert, Mountains and Wadis, Coasts and Mudflats, Parks and AgriculturaI. I am happy to provide bespoke tours at any time of the year, you just need to drop me a line.
Much of the country is accessible by 4x4 giving excellent photographic opportunities, using the car as a hide. Many of my UAE images can be seen in my UAE Album.
Key species can be found at our sister site UAEbirding
At any one time during migration periods (July - November and April - May) probably in excess of 250,000 waders are present on intertidal areas of the country's Gulf coast.
A key species being the Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) related to the waders, but sufficiently distinctive to merit its own family Dromadidae. Its relationship within the Charadriiformes is unclear, some have considered it to be closely related to the thick-knees, or the pratincoles, while others have considered it closer to the auks and gulls. It is the only member of the genus Dromas.
A common near-endemic, particularly numerous on the west coast is the Socotora Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis). it is a threatened species and listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.
Another key coastal species is the White-cheeked Tern, it is found around the coasts on the Red Sea, around the Horn of Africa to Kenya, in the Persian Gulf and along the Iranian coast to Pakistan and western India. It's a common UAE breeding species in the summer.
Finally for Part 1 here is the Persian Shearwater. They can be seen from March onwards throughout the summer. It is possible to scope them from East Coast beaches but are best seen during Pelagic trips that can be provided given enough notice and interest.
Me photographing Pacific Golden Plover on an East Coast beach.