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Birds of Egypt

31 Dec 2007 / in natural world, travels

This bird blog is dedicated to my new friend Jimmy Jefford, aged 10, who showed a gratifying and enthusiastic interest in ornithology. Long may the bird bug bite, Jimmy!

Birding in Egypt is a particular pleasure with so many different habitats on offer, and especially because of Egypt’s position on migratory routes between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Commonly seen, in just about every habitat, were the busy pied crow

The little egret, with their dayglo yellow feet,

the cheerful white wagtails:

and the beautiful pink palm dove, whose gorgeous cooing whenever I hear it, reminds that I’m in Africa.

In the desert, in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor we spied this handsome desert wheatear

and this very friendly hooded wheatear, making a good living outside the bustling entrance to a pharaohnic tomb:

The Nile valley is rich is just about everything. We saw hoopoes, peregrine falcons, kites, a blue-cheeked bee-eater, lots of ferruginous ducks and glossy ibis all of which evaded Moth’s lens. However, we did spot squillions of grey herons:

and squacco herons

as well as flocks of Egyptian geese and spur-winged plovers on a sandbank at Aswan:

which were joined by this black-tailed godwit, patrolling the shallows:

Giant cormorants were also abundant:

as were pied kingfishers whose endearing squeaks and constant activity diving, perching, hovering, swooping low over the water and twitching their short tails entertained us for hours

As we cruised north up the Nile, this chocolate coloured spotted eagle (we think) soared effortlessly along at the same speed as our little riverboat:

Out snorkelling on Christmas day at the Red Sea near Safaga, we glimpsed this mighty osprey fishing near a reef:

Wow!

And finally on the lookout for hoopoes in the garden at our hotel in Cairo at sunset, we spotted this common bulbul

Photography by my lovely husband Moth Clark, who I think did a fab job taking these pics with just a 300mm lens at low res with no tripod.

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