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Saturday 2nd October - Sunday 17th October 2010

Dave Farrow

This tour was a refinement of previous tour itineraries, and for just the second time the Egyptian section was supplemented with a visit to the ancient monuments of Petra, the inclusion of Jordan also adding a further injection of great birds. We acquired a bird list of 178 species, which in Jordan included great birds such as Syrian Serin, Sinai Rosefinch, Namaqua Dove, Tristram’s Starling, Temminck’s and Bar-tailed Larks, Desert Finch, Palestine Sunbird, Scrub Warbler and a thrilling Hume’s Owl. In Egypt our explorations around Cairo found Kittlitz’s Plover, Greater Painted Snipe, Senegal Thick-knee, Senegal Coucal, White-throated Kingfisher and Red Avadavat. Around the deserts and sewage ponds of Sinai we found Lichtenstein’s, Spotted and Crowned Sandgrouse, while migrant raptors included Steppe, Booted, Imperial, Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles, and Levant Sparrowhawk. Around the Red Sea we found White-eyed and Sooty Gulls, White-cheeked, Greater Crested and Lesser Crested Terns, many Sooty Falcons and a migrant Little Crake. Our final stop at Abu Simbel was typically birdy with African Pied Wagtails, Spotted Crakes, White-tailed Lapwing, White-crowned Wheatears, Greater Hoopoe Larks, and the ‘icing-on-the-cake’ in the form of a roosting Egyptian Nightjar, a thrilling finale and our ‘Bird-of-the trip’. We also visited the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara, the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, the Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, and viewed the treasure of Tutankhamen in the Egyptian Museum.