Our August image is the Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus), also known simply as Hypocolius and placed in its own monotypic family (Hypocoliidae). A bird of rather confusing affiliations, it was once thought to be related to bulbuls or shrikes, but more recent studies suggest that it is most closely allied to waxwings. Found in arid and semi-arid regions, it breeds in woodland areas in the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, migrating south in winter to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coasts of Arabia, with regular visitors as far as western India.
Our UAE & Oman: Arabian Birding Adventure offers an excellent chance of finding this sought-after species – and much besides. What’s more, the United Arab Emirates and Sultanate of Oman are both friendly and peaceful Arab nations that have embraced the best of modern convenience and technology, while simultaneously maintaining their unique culture and proud history. Our tour through these gracious and hospitable countries will take us through mountains, deserts, coastal shores, wetlands, oases, wooded canyons and irrigated fields in search of an array of both resident and migrant Western Palearctic and Central Asian species. Additional targets include Macqueen’s Bustard, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Arabian Partridge, Spotted Crake, Crab-plover, Socotra Cormorant, Persian Shearwater, White-cheeked Tern, Dunn’s, Bar-tailed and Bimaculated Lark, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Eversmann’s Redstart and, on the mammal front, Arabian Oryx, with a good probability for some totally unexpected rarity or vagrant! We also offer a 3-day extension to the Kingdom of Jordan, which includes a full day’s exploration of the ancient city of Petra, as well as additional birding possibilities including Sand Partridge, Syrian Woodpecker, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Sinai Rosefinch and Syrian Serin.
Both departures are conducted at a relaxed pace and are suitable for hard-core birders and non-birding spouses and novices alike.
For further information please click on the links below, or contact our office.