rare visitors

For the twitchers: two bird species never before documented in the Arabian Peninsula have been seen in the UAE in the past fortnight.


A Cory’s Shearwater was spotted by birdwatchers on May 12 – the first sighting in the Middle East. The bird was found while the group were taking part in a boat trip off Kalba, the east coast enclave of Sharjah near the Oman border.

Last week, a Franklin’s Gull turned up at Fujairah Port Beach. The gull appeared on May 17 and remained at the beach over the weekend, to the delight of dozens of bird enthusiasts who turned out to see it.

Sightings of species new to the region are extremely rare – the last one happened in December 2008 when a Red-flanked Bluetail was seen at Safa Park in Dubai.

The Franklin Gull normally breeds in the Northern US and Canada, whilst the Cory’s Shearwater in the Mediterranean.

More info on birding in the UAE can be found at Tommy Pedersen’s website on the subject.

Picture and quote from The National

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