White-eyed Gull ~ Hurghada, Egypt - Mar' 16

Saturday 26 March 2016

A long weekend spent in Hurghada, Egypt with the aim being to photograph White-eyed Gull ..

Flew out of Gatwick with Easyjet on the 18th returned on the 21st for £188 ..

Stayed at 'The Three Corners' sunny beach resort via Hotels.com and got a All Inclusive deal for £107 ..

Also got a Car & Driver for £50 per day, he spoke good english and got us in to places with high security with ease ..
This is by far the easiest way to travel about and takes all the hassle out of the trip ..
If your planning a trip contact Ahmed

 +20 101 9565999 or facebook

The morning of the 19th, before breakfast was a walk from the hotel to the lagoon this was c.2km open stretch of beach with a small fishing village right next to a Army base, we were warned here by one of the fishermen to be careful with the camera's ..
Of note Caspian Tern, Slender-billed Gull, Kentish & Grey Plover and Northern Wheatear ..

Midday we met up with Hamed and drove down to Sahl Hasheesh, this was and like everywhere else under very high security without Hamed entry would not of been possible ..
The target bird couldn't be seen here as we were restricted to being followed by security so moved on ..

Hurghada Marina was a good site for both White-eyed and Sooty gulls although there was security at the gate this site was open to the public with bars and cafes along the waterfront ..

Hamed has a friend with a boat !!
A quick phone call and we were booked for the following day to go out to one of the Islands ..

The 20th and day 2, the wind had increased from none yesterday to 20mph and the flat sea was no more ..
We met Fares our boatmen, it was about 30 mins before we dropped anchor and waded in to a deserted sand bar.

The wind and the sunlight weren't great for photograph as the birds were lite from the back but it was just a great place to be, isolated on a island with no one else there ...

Of note on the sand bar ...
Little, Caspian, Common and Swift Tern. 
Pallid Harrier male, Spoonbill, Pallas's Gull, White-eyed, Sooty, Baltic and Slender-billed Gull.

I would highly recommend the boat trip especially later in the year as the species seen would be fantastic ..
If its possible to get on the other islands then the birding could be great ..

The 21st and Day 3, started off near the kite center at El Gouna with a few hirundines and Kentish Plover only for the effort, out near the farm were Steppe Buzzard and Greater Short-toed Lark ..

The remainder of the day was spent back at Hurghada marina before the early evening flight ..

Thanks to Hamed for making this a hassle free trip as without him it would of been very difficult accessing some sites ..

Below is a link for a locations guide
Map showing sites visited ...

Wheatears are they Cool ?

Wednesday 2 March 2016

I have a question ..

Wheatears are they cool ?

Smart, colourful birds but have they got the X-factor !!

Northern Wheatear ~ Dungeness

Desert Wheatear ~ Bempton Cliffs

Isabelline Wheatear ~ Israel

Red-rumped Wheatear ~ Morocco

Black Wheatear ~ Morocco

Magreb Wheatear ~ Morocco

Pied Wheatear ~ Romania

Black-eared Wheatear ~ Lesvos

White crowned Wheatear ~ Morocco

Desert Wheatear ~ Morocco

Hume's Wheatear ~ Israel

Northern Wheatear ~ Dungeness

So this question was asked to some of the birding elite ...
Including a Scientist and a Male Model !!

Are they cool ?

Mr. Wright ...

"Yes great birds the herald of spring"

Mr. Ramm ...

"Anything that's name derives from white arse is f*c*ing awesome"

Mr. Lawson ...

"Err ......... of course!!"
The missus says "They are cute"

Mr. Harvey ...

"I like them but I like them as much as gulls, owls, warblers etc etc"

Mrs. Marinus ...

" I ate one once, nice it was ..."

Mr. Bonser ...

"They're only cool for birders who like easy photographic targets and are unable to identify birds that aren't bright and gaudy"

Mr. Lethbridge ...

"Wheatears rock, you know it"

Mr. Gibbard ...

"They are good and always nice to see"

Mr. Cachinnans ...

"Yeah they're cool, better than fish heads"

Mr. Ashton ...

" Cooler than a Glaucous Gull but not as cool as a Ross's or Ivory"

Mr. Smith ...

"Wheatears are red hot ! and so are most species of bird ! I will pop the lot !
However, gulls are more fun (and interesting) Give me a Franklin's, a Sabine's, a Ross's or Red-billed any day before a Wheatear on a wheelie bin" 

The majority say that yes they're cool ...

As for the X-factor ...

No Wheatears just fail on having the X-factor, due to the fact that Gulls have it !!!