Birding sites Yemen

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Abdullah Gharib lagoons
Situated 20 km north-east of Al-Ghayda, these large coastal lagoons lie either side of the village of Abdullah Gharib. They are separated from the sea by sand-dunes, surrounded by extensive fringes of saline mud, and set in a dusty sand and gravel plain with a poor cover of salt-tolerant plants.
Key Species;- Sooty Gull (Larus hemprichii), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Great Crested-tern (Sterna bergii).
Birdlife International
Al-Mukha - Al-Khawkhah
About 70 km of southern Red Sea coastline between the towns of Al-Mukha and Al-Khawkhah, including the fishing villages of Mawshij, Yakhtul and Al-Ru'ays. The northern coast is dominated by narrow sand beaches, the southern by sabkhah areas. At Al-Ru'ays there is a stretch of intertidal mudflats, associated with underground freshwater seepage which supports 10-15 ha of variably dense mangrove Avicennia and c.100 ha of variably dense palms (Phoenix, Hyphaene). Salt-tolerant bushes (Suaeda, Zygophyllum) and grasses (Odyssea and others) are very common along most of the coast, especially on low dunes and fringes of sabkhah. Salvadora bushes are locally common inland, and seagrass beds and coral reefs are relatively frequent offshore in the south of the site. Artisanal fishing is widespread all along the coast, and more pelagic fisheries are based at Al-Mukha and Al-Khawkhah; there are also active salt-pans and a power station on the coast at the former town.
Key species;-Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri), Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola), Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris), White-eyed Gull (Larus leucophthalmus), Saunders's Tern (Sterna saundersi), White-cheeked Tern (Sterna repressa).
Birdlife International
Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East
Richard Porter,Steen Christensen & Per Schiermacker
Illustrated by A Birch,J Gale,M Langman & B Small

" The bottom line is:this is the best field guide published so far on birds of the Middle East."....Josef Kren, Wilson Bulletin

" A real tour de force and should remain the standard work for the region for a long time to come."..Gordon Hamlett, Birdwatching

"An indispensable and thoroughly recommended aid for birdwatchers in the Middle East and beyond." ...Andrew Grieve, Birdwatch.
Click here for ordering details.....
Bab al-Mandab - Mawza
A rocky promontory jutting out at the south-west extremity of Yemen towards Djibouti. To the east is a broad sand beach stretching c.5 km east to As-Suqayya. To the north-east of Bab al-Mandab a series of well-vegetated wadis dissect the foothills. The barren, mostly rocky island of Perim (also known as Barim or Miyun) lies offshore in the straits. To the north, a relatively undisturbed succession of semi-natural vegetation extends from the coast to the foothills across the stony Tihamah plain, with extensive dwarf-shrubland, grassland and Acacia-Commiphora bushland. Dhubab Flats (12°55´N 43°24´E, 100-200 ha) is a stretch of at least 3 km of coastal lagoons and flats extending south from the village of Dhubab and possibly continuing to the Bab al-Mandab.
Key species;-Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri), White-eyed Gull (Larus leucophthalmus), Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis), Greater Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon alaudipes), Desert Lark (Ammomanes deserti), Black-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix nigriceps), Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps), Blackstart (Cercomela melanura), House Bunting (Emberiza striolata)
Birdlife International
Hajhir mountains, Socotra
The Hajhir mountains of Socotra comprise rather barren-looking granite slopes and pinnacles (up to 1,500 m) with montane thicket, though the floristic composition is not well known. Near Adho Dimellus on the south-eastern slopes there is a short-grass plateau at c.850 m with a stream flowing through and with scattered bushes and light scrub. There is grazing/browsing by cattle, goats and camels.
Key species;-Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Forbes-Watson's Swift (Apus berliozi),Island Cisticola (Cisticola haesitatus), Socotra Bunting (Emberiza socotrana).
Birdlife International
Islands north of Al-Hudaydah
At least 31 islands north and west of Al-Hudaydah on the northern Red Sea shelf (excluding Kamaran, the largest such island, which is part of site 007). Most are low, flat and sandy, elevated only a few metres, but a few of the largest are formed from upraised coral and are higher, up to 36 m on the largest, Tikfash (2,990 ha). Most islands have a fringing coral reef, and usually also have a sand beach, allowing access at least at high tide; the most extensive beaches are on the east coast of Humar and the north coast of Tikfash. Vegetation is sparse on all islands, with thin grass and low, salt-tolerant bushes. There are small areas of mangrove Avicennia marina on Tikfash and Humar; Kitamah has a well, surrounded by succulent Euphorbia vegetation. Patches of seagrass and reef-rock rubble occur off most islands. Most islands have temporary fishing camps and anchorages, used seasonally, and there are graves on Juwa, Hataban and especially Uqban, where there are also traces of former settlement.
Key species;-Breeding Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor), White-eyed Gull (Larus leucophthalmus) , White-cheeked Tern (Sterna repressa).Also non-breeding Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola), Passage Sooty Gull (Larus hemprichii), Lesser Crested-tern (Sterna bengalensis)
Birdlife International.
The wooded Mahra
A well-wooded escarpment (up to 800 m) extending 30 km from the Omani border west-south-west along the coastline and c.5 km inland. The scarp descends directly down to the sea, and there is little or no coastal plain. The south-west monsoon brings mist and rain to the south-west facing slopes in late summer and autumn, when the mostly deciduous vegetation springs into leaf and the otherwise poor herb layer is transformed. By spring the landscape is brown and arid except where water flows permanently through the few wadis that dissect the hills. The tree cover on hillsides is mainly dense Anogeissus dhofarica/Commiphora habessinica woodland with abundant Adenium obesum and in places Acacia senegal. The tree canopy is generally c.3-4 m high and there are occasional Boscia arabica and Steniegia trees. Vegetation is much richer in wadis, with Tamarindus (managed groves), Anogeissus, Acacia nilotica and palms, with occasional other trees such as Delonix elata and Ficus. These areas have a rich understorey, and climbing species are notable, e.g. Jasminum, Capparis, Cissus. The human population density is not high, and largely settled pastoralists who use the hills as rangeland.
Key species;-Arabian Partridge (Alectoris melanocephala), Red Sea Warbler (Sylvia leucomelaena), Golden-winged Grosbeak (Rhynchostruthus socotranus)
Wadi Mawr - Al-Zuhrah
An area of flat wadi-spread on the Red Sea Tihamah plain of western Yemen. Wadi Mawr is the largest wadi on the western watershed of Yemen, and has an enormous catchment area in the mountains of northern Yemen; occasional floods reach far onto the Tihamah. Most of the wadi-spread is heavily cultivated and there are several large, intensive, irrigated agriculture projects, growing crops inside fields enclosed in huge, bulldozed earth bunds. However, there are also extensive areas of uncultivated Tamarix woodland, and in the western areas of the site there is well-vegetated, semi-desert dwarf-shrubland, with a low human-population density.
Key species:-Arabian Bustard (Ardeotis arabs), African Collared-dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea), Black Scrub-robin (Cercotrichas podobe), Nile Valley Sunbird (Anthreptes metallicus), Arabian Golden-sparrow (Passer euchlorus).
A full list of Yemen IBA's can be found by clicking here..

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