Saturday, 10 May 2014

Spur-winged plovers

Ubiquitous and noisy everywhere around Cairo they are particularly vocal at this time of year when they are raising chicks.

The chicks are well camouflaged.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Violet dropwing

The ponds on the golf course where I live just outside Cairo attract a few dragonflies. This is a violet dropwing on a hibiscus.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Spotted flycatchers at Marsa Alam

Always one of the last summer visitors to arrive in England, spotted flycatchers were moving through Marsa Alam in large numbers. I saw around 40 individuals in the hotel garden over the weekend.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cattle egret predates tree pipit

One of the more unusual sights in Marsa Alam was a cattle egret catching a tired tree pipit. It was still trying to swallow it an hour later.

Marsa Alam - Egypt

Last week I flew down to Marsa Alam in southern Egypt. It lies half way down Egypt's Red Sea coast and has the reputation of a migration hot spot. I stayed in a small beach side resort with a small area of lawns and palm trees but it was packed with migrating passerines.

The commonest species resting up on their passage north were whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, tree pipit, spotted flycatcher and yellow wagtail. Hundreds of barn swallow and sand martin streamed through overhead, buffeted on the winds being enjoyed by the wind surfers.

Whitethroat, a common migrant at Marsa Alam

Amongst the greenery and manicured grass I found several sedge warbler, redstart, reed warbler and single golden oriole and nightingale.

One of many tree pipit on the lawns
I found 45 species over the weekend and added 19 to my Egypt list.

A summer plumage sooty gull on the beach