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A Report from

Jordan, November 2009,

Graeme Wright


This report covers birds seen during a one week holiday in Jordan in November 2009.  The holiday was based at the Tala Bay Movenpick ( which was a great hotel in terms of room, pool and food etc but, which being on a newly built resort surrounded by desert, had only a limited number of birds, although I suspect there would be a ot more on spring passage.

The birding was restricted to the Hotel grounds and Tala Bay Resort (, Petra and Wadi Rum.  All the same I got over 40 species and 3 ‘lifers’ so all in all a good result particularly as both Wadi Rum and Petra are both such spectacular destination, the diving is brilliant as well.  We spent the night in the Desert at Wadi Rum and that was a particularly great adventure.

I had wanted to go to the Sewage works in Aqaba but they were closed (or I could not get a permit) due to the holidays.  But normally everything can be arranged via the tourist office in Aqaba.

It is worth adding that I found the people in Jordan very friendly and getting around very straight forward.

I did not use any guides but I did find a few reports that helped such as: on the bird tours site.

Getting Around

I hired a car from Avis in Aqaba for 35JD a day which I used for the trip to Wadi Rum (around 1.5 hours from Aqaba) and Petra (around 2.5 hours from Aqaba)

Top 5 birds

1)      White-eyed gull – great to see them every morning at the hotel
2)      Sinai Rosefinch – classic bird seen in classic settings at Wadi Rum
3)      White-crowned Wheatear – great views around Wadi Rum
4)      Siberian Stonechat – always playing around the pools
5)      Tristram’s Starling – vast numbers of this impressive bird at Wadi RUm


Day 1 – Tala Bay
Day 2 – Tala Bay
Day 3 Wadi Rum
Day 4 Wadi Rum
Day 5 Petra
Day 6 Tala Bay
Day 7 Tala Bay

Annotated List

(1) Brown Booby (Sula Leucogasterr);  Ofshore at Aqaba
(2)  Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea): Regular on beaches and round docks north of Tala Bay
(3)  Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus): 1 on road to Petra
(4) Lesser Kestral (Falco naumanni):  1 at Petra
(5) Kestral (Falco tinnunculus):  regular at Tala Bay
(6) Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus):  Regular around beach at Tala Bay
(7) Greenshank (Tringa nebularia):  Regular on the beach at Tala Bay
(8) White-eyed Gull (Larus leucophtalmus): Regular offshore from Tala Bay over 30 seen on occasion (every morning they were sitting on the floating platform of the hotel beach)
(9) Black headed Gull (Larus ridibundus):  Regualr offshore from Tala Bay
(10) Lesser Black Backed Gull (Larus fuscus): One offshore from Tala Bay
(11) Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis): a very common species.
(12) Rock Dove: common at Wadi Rum
(13) Ringed-necked Paraket (Pstitacual krameri):  Several in Aqaba
(14) Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo): Above Wadi Rum village
(15) Hoopoe (Upupa epops): One on a trip to Aqaba
(16) Kingfisher (Halcyon ): At the Tala Bay Marina
(17) Desert Lark (Ammomanes deserti): common in Wadi Rum and on Desert around Tala bay
(18) Craig Martin: Daily at Tala Bay
(19) Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula): common at Petra
(20) Medow Pipit: Around Tala Bay.
(21) White Wagtail: Common around Tala Bay
(22) Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos): Petra.
(23) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica): Common around Tala Bay
(24) Robin (Erithacus rubecula):  A couple around Tula Bay
(25)  Blackstart (Cercomela melanura): common at Tala Bay and Wadi Rum
(26)  Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maura): At Tala Bay most days.
(27) Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti): Often at Tala Bay
(28)  Black-eared Wheater (Oenanthe melanoleuca): Wadi Rum
(29) Isabiline Wheater:  Several at Wadi Rum village
(30)  Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens): common at Petra and Wadi Rum.
(31)  White-crowned Wheater (Oenanthe leucopyga): common in the Wadi Rum
(32) Blackbird (Turdu merula):  On approach to Wadi Rum at vineyard
(33) Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos):  A couple around Tala Bay
(34) Scrub Warbler (Scotocerca inquieta): Petra
(35)  Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala): 2 during a trip to Aqaba
(36) Chiff-chaf (Phylloscopus collybita):  Common around Tala Bay
(37) Tristram’s Starling (Onychognathus tristramii): Over 50 at Wadi Rum village
(38) House Crow (Corvus splendens): common at Aqaba.
(39) Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis): common in Wadi Rum.
(40) Fan-tailed Raven (Corvus rhipidurus): very common at Petra.
(41) House Sparrow : common everywhere
(42) Desert Finch:  Several at the Aqaba allotments
(43) Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus): Several in Wadi Rum
(44) Sinai Rosefinch (Carpodacus synoicus): common at Wadi Rum a few seen at Petra.


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