BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

Jordan  March 27 – April 6  2009

I did a 10 day “non-birding” trip with my partner, primarily to visit Petra and Wadi Rum, both outstanding sites, especially Petra.

Itinerary

March 27: arrive Amman 17.30, queue 1 hour for visa (£10). Taxi to Mariam Hotel (£40 b & b) in Madaba - £14 for 30 min journey.

March 28: inspected the Roman remains then took shared taxi 09.15 – 15.30  Madabe – Wadi Mujib – Karak Castle where explored the partially restored ruins, then on to Dana Hotel in Dana village, birding the hillside beyond. Musical evening with mandolin and tabla playing.

March 29: fog, gale, thunder and hail in morning, birding in the area of the Siq when sunny later – nice view of male Wryneck feeding on the ground. Night at the Dana Hotel.

March 30: nice weather at last, Rock and Cretzschmar’s Buntings in the village, then shared taxi to Petra via a castle where I spent an hour tramping the hills for Syrian Serin, only seeing Linnets and larks, plus a fly-by male Pallid Harrier, while the others sight-saw. Afternoon at Petra ruins, entering by scenic difficult wadi route with Fan-tailed Ravens. Sinai Rosefinches at Royal Tomb; Treasury and Siq great sites. After a good meal, paid to visit “Petra by Night”, well worthwhile for c£10.

March 31: spectacular day at Petra in lovely weather – including fort, sacrificial site and temple, with lots of up and down stone steps.

April 1: 24 hour trip to Wadi Rum - £18 to get there then £50 each for 3 hour jeep ride in the desert, food and accommodation in campsite just outside the protected area. Very arid desert with good scenery, birding around oasis in afternoon – Masked Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow and many warblers. Camel ride to see colourful sunset. Loud disco at adjacent campsite till quite late.

April 2: driven to bus-stop near Rum for 08.30 bus to Petra, seeing Rufous Bush-Robin and Pale Rock Sparrow while waiting. Arrived 10.15, then paid £18 for hotel car to take us to Nawatef Camp near Dana - £14 each half-board including good food. A lovely spot, overlooking a deep canyon, and so we spent the rest of the holiday here. Afternoon walking down into the valley and back, witnessing a major raptor passage with 200+ Buzzards plus a few Steppe Eagles and Black Kites. Flushed a large Lanner/Barbary Falcon off a cliff, and saw a chameleon.

April 3 - 5: spent a lot of time walking in the valley, with some sightings of Syrian Serin, the only bird I needed, plus Short-toed Eagle, Pallid Swift, Rock Nuthatch, Graceful Prinia, Cinereous Bunting and many Palestine Sunbirds. The best sighting was a golden cat with a long tail, half-way up a sheer rock face - a Sand Cat. Also walked along the escarpment several times to view the Rift Valley with Wadi Rum to the south and Israel to the east.

Birds included Bee-eaters and a variety of larks, Calandra being the most notable. One afternoon, 10 large high-powered motorbikes arrived with several cars, the last having a flashing light on a pole. All the riders stopped for a cup of tea and to admire the view. This was the only time we had seen more than one couple of tourists up here. We later learnt the group was led by the king’s brother and included other royalty, film stars and the like on a grand tour of Jordan!

April 6: we were sad to leave this lovely, peaceful place but stayed as long as we could before hiring a taxi to drive straight to Amman airport for the BMI flight home.

Bird List

 

 

Dana

Petra

Wadi Rum

Travel

Chukar Partridge

Alectoris chukar

X

X

X

 

Sand Partridge

Ammoperdix heyi

X

 

X?

 

Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

X

X

X

X

Lanner/Barbary Falcon

Falco sp.

1

 

 

 

Black Kite

Milvus migrans

X

 

 

X

Eurasian Griffon

Gyps fulvus

X

 

 

 

Short-toed Eagle

Circaetus gallicus

3

 

 

 

Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus

 

 

 

1

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

1

 

1

 

Eurasian Buzzard

Buteo buteo

X

X

X

X

Long-legged Buzzard

Buteo rufinus

X

1

 

 

Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis

X

 

 

X

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

 

 

X

 

Laughing Dove

Streptopelia senegalensis

X

X

X

X

Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

X

 

 

 

Common Swift

Apus apus

1

 

 

 

Pallid Swift

Apus pallidus

4

 

 

 

European Bee-eater

Merops apiaster

3

 

 

2

Common Hoopoe

Upupa epops

X

X

 

X

Northern Wryneck

Jynx torquilla

1

 

 

 

Woodchat Shrike

Lanius senator

2

 

 

 

Masked Shrike

Lanius nubicus

2

 

2

 

Brown-necked Raven

Corvus ruficollis

 

X

X

X

Fan-tailed Raven

Corvus rhipidurus

X

X

 

 

Great Tit

Parus major

X

X

X

 

Western Rock Nuthatch

Sitta neumayer

1

 

 

 

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

1

 

 

 

Rock Martin

Ptyonoprogne fuligula

X

X

X

X

Red-rumped Swallow

Cecropis daurica

 

 

2

 

Calandra Lark

Melanocorypha calandra

X

 

 

 

Bar-tailed Lark

Ammomanes cinctura

 

 

X

 

Desert Lark

Ammomanes deserti

X

X

 

 

Greater Short-toed Lark

Calandrella brachydactyla

X

 

 

 

Lesser Short-toed Lark

Calandrella rufescens

 

 

 

X

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata

 

 

 

X

Streaked Scrub Warbler

Scotocerca inquieta

X

X

X

 

White-spectacled Bulbul

Pycnonotus xanthopygos

X

X

X

X

Olivaceous Warbler

Iduna pallida

X

X

X

 

Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

X

X

X

X

Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla

X

X

X

X

Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca

X

X

X

X

Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia melanocephala

X

 

 

 

Tristram's Grackle

Onychognathus tristramii

X

X

X

X

Eurasian Blackbird

Turdus merula

X

X

 

 

European Robin

Erithacus rubecula

1

 

 

 

Rufous Scrub Robin

Cercotrichas galactotes

 

 

1

 

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros

 

 

X

 

Common Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

X

 

X

 

Common Stonechat

Saxicola torquatus

X

 

 

 

Isabelline Wheatear

Oenanthe isabellina

 

 

 

X

Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

 

 

 

?

Black-eared Wheatear

Oenanthe hispanica

?

 

 

X

Mourning Wheatear

Oenanthe lugens

X

X

X

X

White-crowned Black Wheatear

Oenanthe leucopyga

 

 

X

 

Blackstart

Cercomela melanura

X

X

X

X

Blue Rock Thrush

Monticola solitarius

X

X

 

 

Palestine Sunbird

Cinnyris osea

X

X

X

X

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

X

X

X

X

Pale Rock Sparrow

Carpospiza brachydactyla

 

 

X

 

Rock Sparrow

Petronia petronia

X

X

X

 

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

 

X

 

 

Tawny Pipit

Anthus campestris

 

 

 

X

Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs

X

 

 

 

Syrian Serin

Serinus syriacus

X

 

 

 

European Greenfinch

Carduelis chloris

X

X

X

 

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

X

X

 

 

Common Linnet

Carduelis cannabina

X

 

 

X

Sinai Rosefinch

Carpodacus synoicus

X

X

X

 

Ortolan Bunting

Emberiza hortulana

X

 

 

 

Cretzschmar's Bunting

Emberiza caesia

X

X

 

 

Cinereous Bunting

Emberiza cineracea

X

 

 

 

House Bunting

Emberiza striolata

X

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Sand Cat

Felis margarita

1

 

 

 

 

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