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A Report from

Egypt : 10/9 to 24/9.01 staying at the Hotel Isis Luxor.,

John Bateman

Combining sightseeing/birdwatching & just relaxation. Luxor was chosen due to its proximity to birdwatching sites & accessibility to the R.Nile (West Bank) & historical ruins. The weather whilst we where there was very hot temp: over 100 degrees on most days thus ensuring that any activity was carried out in the morning.( as early as possibly).The majority of the locals where very friendly & helpful (beware the Caleche drivers who had a tendency to take advantage) but the taxi drivers were fair & helpful & did not on the whole overcharge . We did not experience a great deal of harassment or hassle ( possibly as it was our second visit we knew what to expect). The locals told us that R Nile was the highest it had been for 20 yrs due to heavy rains in the Sudan ( consequently there was a lack of waders) as the river stretched from bank to bank & there were no sandbars or marshy inlets that we had last year.


Little Bittern, 2/3 birds seen on Crocodile Isl.( female/juvenile).
Night Heron,  Singles seen – Crocodile Isl.
Straited Heron,   At least 4 individuals seen – Crocodile Isl.
Squacoo Heron, Very common in the reed beds on the West Bank of the Nile & in the reedy areas on Crocodile Isl.
Cattle Egrets, Very common on any area of cultivated land or near drainage Ditches or waterways.
Little Egrets,   Very common both along the banks of the Nile & irrigation channels.
Gt w Egret, Singles seen ( generally put up from the reed beds on the West Bank by the local fishermen).
Grey Heron,   Sevral seen edge of reed beds along the Nile.
Purple Heron, 2/3 seen ( flushed from reed beds on West Bank by fishermen Punting thro the reeds ). Also 1 seen very close in reed bed on Crocodile Isl.
White Stork,   2 seen on Crocodile Isl.
Glossy Ibis,  35 flying south( following the river).
Egyptian Geese,  5 in area of open water on the West Bank.
Teal, 21 in area of open water on the West Bank.
Mallard, 10 in area of open water on the West Bank.
Bl-S-Kite,  2 seen regularly on Crocodile Isl. (over the farmland). Also seen Occasionally around the outskirts of Luxor.
Black Kite, Seen every day appeared to be 2prs in Luxor itself soaring over the Town & 1pr appeared to be resident on Crocodile Isl.
Marsh Harrier,  Seen regularly quartering the reed beds on the West Bank & the Reed beds on Crocodile Isl.
Montagues Harrier, Single (m) seen quartering over farmland on the West Bank.(scoped).
Sparrowhawk, Single sighting only on Crocodile Isl.(garden area}.
Long-l-Buzzard, Single sighting only ( fairly high flying south).( scoped).
Osprey, Single sighting only (flying south following the river).
Kestrel,   Resident bird on buildings opp the hotel & others seen in hotel Gardens.
Moorhen,   Several seen.
Painted Snipe, Seen in a wetland area ( at least 4 ) on Crocodile Isl.
Bl-w-Stilts,   Seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.( adults/juveniles) also singles seen floating downriver on reed mats.
Senegal T/knees:  3 seen on open area on banks of the R Nile.
Little-r-Plover, Single seen in wetland area  Crocodile Isl.
Ringed Plovers,   2/3 seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Kentish Plovers,  2  seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Spur-w-Plovers, Several seen on Crocodile Isl.
Little Stints,   4/5 seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Temmicks Stints, 2 seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Dunlin,  4/5 seen in wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Ruff,   Several seen in suitable habitat on Crocodile Isl.
Jack Snipe,  Single only Crocodile Isl.
Snipe,  Single only Crocodile Isl.
Bl-t-Godwits,  12 flying southwards following the river.
Marsh S/piper, Single only Crocodile Isl.
Greenshanks,   5/6 wetland area on Crocodile Isl.
Green S/piper,  2 flushed from wet area on Crocodile Isl.
Wood S/piper 4/5 seen in suitable habitat on Crocodile Isl.
Com S/piper,   Single only seen embankment of the Nile Crocodile Isl.
Gull-b-Terns,   6 flying south.
Whiskered Terns,   Several hundreds over 2/3 days feeding of Crocodile Isl & roosting on floating vegetation on the river.  
Ww Bl Tern, Approx 2 doz in with the above.
Turtle Doves, 2 – Crocodile Isl.
Palm Doves,  Very Common.
Cuckoo, Single sighting only – Crocodile Isl.
Swift,    Moderate nos: moving southwards.
Pallid Swifts,  Several around the buildings in Luxor.
Pied K/fisher, Very Common.
L Gr Bee-eaters,   Several esp: on Crocodile Isl. Also several seen on wires over farmland.
Bl Ch Bee-eaters, 4/5 seen in bush on Crocodile Isl.
Hoopoes,  Very common (every area of waste ground has 2/3 birds). Crocodile Isl. One field just cut& watered had 21 birds on it.
Crested Lark,  2/3 seen on farmland.
Rock Martin,   Several flying around the top storeys of the hotels.
Swallows,  On 2/3 days several thousands moving southwards along the river all day long ( after they had moved thro leaving only the local sub species).  
Tawny Pipit,  Single sighting only ( on farmland on Crocodile Isl).
Yellow W/tail,  Several seen in suitable habitat.
White W/tail, Several seen in suitable habitat.
Common Bulbul, Very Common ( every hotel appeared to have resident birds).
Wheatear, Single sighting only ( Luxor Temple). ( rather surprising I expected to see more of this family).
Fan-t-Warbler,   Fairly common ( esp: on Crocodile Isl in suitable habitat).
Gracefull Prinia,   Fairly  common ( esp: on Crocodile Isl in suitable habitat).
Reed Warbler, Common in the reed beds ( esp: on Crocodile Isl )
Gt-r-Warbler,   Single sightings only ( reed beds Crocodile Isl).
Clamorous-r-Warbler,  Single sightings only ( reed beds Crocodile Isl).
Olivaceous Warbler, 2/3 sightings of individual birds ( Crocodile Isl- garden area).
Icterine Warbler, 2/3 sightings of individual birds ( Crocodile Isl- garden area).
Sardinian Warbler, Several sightings of individual birds (Crocodile Isl ).
Lesser Whitethroats, Several sightings of individual birds ( both on Crocodile Isl & in the gardens of several hotels).
Blackcap, Single sighting only.( hotel garden).
Wood Warbler, 2/3 sightings ( Crocodile Isl – garden area).
Chiffchaff, Several sightings ( hotel gardens).
Willow Warbler,   Several sightings.( hotel gardens).
Sp F/catcher,  Single sighting only ( hotel gardens).
Nile-v-Sunbird,   Several sightings ( New Winter Palace Hotel/Sheraton Hotel & garden area on Crocodile Isl).
Golden Oriole, Several sightings(m/f) Crocodile Isl.
Woodchat Shrike,  Single  sighting   Crocodile Isl.
Red-b-Shrike,  Single sighting   Crocodile Isl.
Masked Shrike,   4/5 individual birds (on Crocodile Isl) & 2 birds seen in the gardens of the New Winter Palace Hotel.
House Sparrows, Very common.
Spanish Sparrows,  Small colony on Crocodile Isl.
Hooded Crows, Very common.

I had visited Egypt last year at the end of Oct: on a Nile cruise/ 1wk stay in Luxor & had promised myself I would make a return visit especially to Crocodile Island as I found this area absolutely brilliant & I was certainly not disappointed.This year I was 5 wks earlier & picked up more warbler species. Anyone who visits Egypt & is interested in birdwatching must certainly visit Crocodile Island it is a birdwatchers paradise  & providing one remembers that you are on private land ( Hotel Movenpick) & local Village farmland and act accordingly, one should have no trouble, and even though abroad remember the country code. If it were left to me I would certainly make further visits in the future.

J.W.Bateman. 17 Trafalgar Rd. Lancaster Lancs LA1 4DB.England.

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