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Natural UAE

Checklist of the Common Species

Arabian babbler Turdoides squamiceps
Common breeding resident, mostly on plains in north and east and in wadis with denser vegetation and usually in small groups.

Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Common passage migrant, with peak passage mid March to mid April and mid August to September.

Barbary falcon Falco pelegrinoides
Uncommon breeding resident in high remote mountain areas.

Bar–tailed Godwit* Limosa lapponica
Very common passage migrant and winter visitor to all tidal mudflats.

Black–crowned finch lark* Eremopterix nigriceps
Common breeding resident, subject to nomadic or seasonal movements outside the breeding season.

Black–headed gull Larus ridibundus
Very common and widespread winter visitor mid November to mid April.

Black–necked grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Localised winter visitor September to early April.

Black redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Fairly common winter visitor late October to early March.

Black–tailed godwit* Limosa limosa
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor, though never common.

Black–winged stilt Himantopus himantopus
Common opportunist breeder, migrant and winter visitor.

Blue–cheeked bee–eater Merops superciliosus
Common passage migrant, mid February to mid May and August to October, and local breeding summer visitor.

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
Common and widespread winter visitor and passage migrant. Widespread mid October to March.

Bonelli's eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus
Uncommon breeding resident in mountain areas, with post-breeding dispersal from September to March. Migrants may also occur.

Booted eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor September to April, rarely late August and early May.

Booted warbler Hippolais caligata
Very scarce passage migrant late March to May and mid August to November.

Bridled tern Sterna anaethetus
Very common pelagic breeding summer visitor late March to October.

Broad–billed sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
Locally common passage migrant and winter visitor, mostly at Khor Dubai. Few over-summer.

Brown-necked raven Corvus ruficollis
Thinly distributed desert breeding resident.

Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis
Increasingly common passage migrant and winter visitor mid October to April, occasionally other months.

Chestnut–bellied sandgrouse* Pterocles exustus
Common resident, sandy and gravel areas including coastal scrub.

Chiffchaff* Phylloscopus collybita
Very common passage migrant and winter visitor October to April.


Clamorous reed warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
Locally common breeding resident, regular passage migrant and winter visitor August to May.

Collared dove Streptopelia decaocto
Abundant resident, dispersive and partly migratory.

Collared pratincole Glareola pratincola
Rather uncommon passage migrant mid April to May, occasionally June, more common July to October.

Common mynah Acridotheres tristis
Common, locally abundant breeding resident. Rapidly expanding range throughout whole region.

Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common winter visitor and passage migrant July to mid May.

Common snipe Gallinago gallinago
Common and widespread passage migrant and winter visitor, late August to April.

Common swift* Apus apus
Common passage migrant, mostly late February to early May.

Common whitethroat* Sylvia communis
Common passage migrant February to May and mid August to October.

Coot Fulica atra
Common winter visitor October to March, occasionally April and September.

Crab plover Dromas ardeola
Localised passage migrant and winter visitor. Nests May to August.

Cream–coloured courser* Cursorius cursor
Resident and dispersive. Also occurs on migration.

Crested lark Galerida cristata
Very common and widespread breeding resident.

Curlew Numenius arquata
Common passage migrant and winter visitor.

Curlew sandpiper* Calidris ferruginea
Abundant autumn migrant, less common in winter.

Desert lark Ammomanes deserti
Common, apparently sedentary breeding resident.

Desert lesser whitethroat* Sylvia minula
Common winter visitor, fewer on passage.

Desert warbler* Sylvia nana
Common winter visitor, locally on passage, mid September to mid April.

Desert wheatear Oenanthe deserti
Common passage migrant and winter visitor September to April.

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Very common passage migrant and winter visitor.

Eagle owl Bubo bubo
Widespread breeding resident of rocky outcrops and larger trees even in sand desert areas. The (sub)species which occurs, B.(bubo) ascalaphus
may be a distinct species, Desert Eagle Owl.

Eastern pied wheatear* Oenanthe picata
Localised but regular winter visitor to stony plains adjacent to foothills, occasionally marginal land, September to early March, passage birds to late March.

Egyptian vulture* Neophron percnopterus
Local breeding resident.

European bee–eater* Merops apiaster
Common passage migrant late March to April and mid August to mid October. Breeds locally.

European roller Coracias garrulus
Common passage migrant, April to early May and mid August to October. Breeds locally.

Garganey Anas querquedula
Fairly common passage migrant February to April and late August to October.

Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor September to April, occasionally in summer.

Golden oriole Oriolus oriolus
Common passage migrant late April to May and mid August to mid October.

Graceful warbler Prinia gracilis
Common breeding resident, spreading in proportion to increase in irrigated gardens and agriculture.

Great black–headed gull* Larus ichthyaetus
Common late winter visitor most occurring mid December to March.

Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Common winter visitor November to March, occasionally to May.

Great grey shrike Lanius excubitor
Common and widespread breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor.

Great white egret* Egretta alba
Fairly common winter visitor September to April, few in summer.

Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
Common migrant and winter visitor, flocks of 200+ regular. Has attempted to nest.

Greater sand plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Locally common passage migrant and winter visitor, some in summer.

Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Fairly common passage migrant and winter visitor July to April.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor August to April.

Grey francolin Francolinus pondicerianus
Very common resident in northern Emirates, rarely far from water. Fewer in south and west.

Grey heron* Ardea cinerea
Very common passage migrant and winter visitor, many oversummering.

Grey plover Pluvialis squatarola
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, few oversummering.

Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Widespread passage migrant mid February to mid April and late August to October.

Gull–billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Common passage migrant and winter visitor late July to March.

Hooded wheatear Oenanthe monacha
Local resident and rare migrant in south and west only.

Hoopoe Upupa epops
Very common passage migrant, localised winter visitor and thinly distributed breeding resident.

Hoopoe lark* Alaemon alaudipes
Fairly common breeding resident.

Houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata
Scarce winter visitor October (rarely from September) to March. Reported as a former breeder. Traditional prey of falconers, and many tracked and hunted.

House bunting Emberiza striolata
Common breeding resident of mountains, dispersing to lower levels in winter.

House crow Corvus splendens
Common, locally abundant breeding resident.

House sparrow Passer domesticus
Ubiquitous breeding resident, numbers increasing and colonising even outer islands.

Hume's lesser whitethroat* Sylvia althaea Uncommon passage migrant mid January-early April and October-early December.

Hume's wheatear Oenanthe alboniger
Sedentary breeding resident of mountains.

Imperial eagle Aquila heliaca
Scarce and irregular passage migrant and occasional winter visitor September to March.

Indian pond heron* Ardeola grayii
Regular winter visitor to Khor Kalba October to mid April.

Indian roller* Coracias benghalensis
Common breeding resident in north and east.

Indian silverbill Euodice malabarica
Very common and widespread breeding resident and common escape from bird markets (sometimes with colour-dyed plumage).

Isabelline shrike Lanius isabellinus
Common passage migrant and winter visitor September to mid May.

Isabelline wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
The commonest migrant and wintering wheatear, present mid August to April.

Kentish plover* Charadrius alexandrinus
Very common and widespread breeding resident, and common winter visitor. Nests from late March, peak hatching period from late May to June.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common migrant and winter visitor peaking September to April. Also breeding resident, nesting in mountain areas, rocky outcrops and more recently noted amongst high-rise buildings.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Common passage migrant and winter visitor mid August to April.

Lappet–faced vulture Torgus tracheliotus
Resident, assumed breeding in UAE territory or very close to border in Omani enclaves of Mahdah and Buraimi.

Lesser black–backed gull Larus fuscus.
Passage migrant and winter visitor late August to April.

Lesser crested tern Sterna bengalensis
Common summer breeding visitor, small numbers present all year.

Lesser kestrel Falco naumanni
Localised spring migrant mid March to mid April. Less common during autumn passage mid-September to November.

Lesser sand plover Charadrius mongolus
Very common passage migrant and winter visitor, few oversummering.

Lesser whitethroat* Sylvia curruca
Common passage migrant September to November and mid February to mid May.

Lichtenstein's sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii
Scarce and elusive breeding resident of mountains and gravel plains.

Little egret Egretta garzetta
Common passage migrant and winter visitor September to March, occasionally in summer.

Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Resident, breeds all months. Also migrant September to March.

Little green bee–eater* Merops orientalis
Common breeding resident in north and east.

Little green heron* Butorides striatus
. Breeding resident along all coasts, with some local movements to nearby freshwater wetlands particularly in autumn.

Little owl Athene noctua
Common, apparently sedentary breeding resident.

Little ringed plover* Charadrius dubius
Breeding visitor and passage migrant late February to early September, rare October to January.

Little stint Calidris minuta
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, widespread at pools and mudflats mid August to May, few in summer months.

Long–legged buzzard* Buteo rufinus
Passage migrant and winter visitor September to April. Breeds in remote desert areas in winter months, and appears to be dispersive (or migratory) at other times.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Very common winter visitor mid October to April.

Marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus
Common migrant and winter visitor September to early April, occasionally May.

Marsh warbler* Acrocephalus palustris
Common passage migrant April to early June.

Ménétries' warbler* Sylvia mystacea
Regular passage migrant late September to April, localised in winter.

Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus
Common migrant, few in winter, with peak passage August to October and March to early April.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Common passage migrant peaking March and late August to December, scarce winter visitor and local breeding resident in reedbeds, young in June.

Night heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Common passage migrant and winter visitor from September to April, with few locally oversummering.

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
Fairly common passage migrant late March to mid May and late August to mid October.

Olivaceous warbler Hippolais pallida
Common passage migrant and localised breeding visitor.

Orphean warbler Sylvia hortensis
Uncommon passage migrant, localised and irregular in winter.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Common breeding resident on isolated coasts and islands, nesting November to March. Migrant and winter visitor September to April.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Locally common migrant and winter visitor, few in summer.

Pacific golden plover* Pluvialis fulva
Regular migrant and winter visitor late August to early May, sometimes in large groups.

Pale crag martin Hirundo obsoleta
Common breeding resident of mountains, foothills and high-rise buildings near Gulf coast.

Pale rock sparrow Petronia brachydactyla
Common spring passage migrant late February to early April, often in flocks of several hundred. Very localised summer breeding visitor.

Pallid harrier Circus macrourus
Common passage migrant and winter visitor September to March, few remaining to early May.

Pallid swift Apus pallidus
Very common passage migrant and breeding visitor.

Palm dove* Streptopelia senegalensis
Very common and widespread resident.

Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus
Uncommon winter visitor September to April, occasionally later. Many migrants are trapped and there are regular reports of escaped birds still wearing leg jesses.

Pied wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
Very common passage migrant mid February to mid April. Much less common late August to mid November.

Pintail* Anas acuta
Fairly common winter visitor October to March, occasionally September to April.

Plain leaf warbler Phylloscopus neglectus
Regular winter visitor October to March, exceptionally to early April, to dry mountain wadis and adjacent savannah plains.

Pomarine skua* Stercorarius pomarinus
Common passage migrant and winter visitor.

Purple heron Ardea purpurea
Passage migrant in small numbers, most common late August to October.

Purple sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
Very common breeding resident, dispersive, wandering in response to food availability.

Quail Coturnix coturnix
Common passage migrant March to April and August to early November, occasionally other months. Heard calling January-July and may be a regular breeding visitor.

Red–backed shrike Lanius collurio
Common passage migrant, in variable numbers annually. Most common April to May, with fewer September to mid November.

Red–necked Phalarope* Phalaropus lobatus
Common passage migrant mid March to April and late July to early November. Large numbers winter offshore in Gulf of Oman.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Very common and widespread passage migrant and winter visitor.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Very common spring passage migrant, scarce in autumn, rare in winter.

Red–tailed wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna
Common winter visitor, regular on passage.

Red–throated pipit* Anthus cervinus
Common passage migrant and localised winter visitor mid September to mid May.

Red–vented bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
Very common and localised introduced breeding resident.

Red–wattled lapwing Hoplopterus indicus
Opportunist breeding species, confined mainly to Northern Emirates, resident in agricultural and other suitable areas.

Reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Fairly common passage migrant from late February to May and late July to early November. Casual breeding summer visitor to suitable (man-made) reed habitat.

Ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, peak passage mid August to October, small numbers recorded May to mid July.

Rock thrush Monticola saxatillis
Common passage migrant, mostly mid February to April, stragglers to mid May.

Rose–ringed parakeet Psittacula krameri
Introduced, common breeding resident, dispersive and spreading.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Common passage migrant and winter visitor August to April, occasionally to mid May.

Saker falcon* Falco cherrug
Scarce winter visitor September to April. Favoured species of Middle East falconers and many are trapped during peak passage October to November. Escaped birds are regularly reported.

Sanderling Calidris alba
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor, mostly on exposed sandy beaches and never very common.

Sand martin Riparia riparia
Common passage migrant late March to early May and late August to mid-October.

Sand partridge Ammoperdix heyi
Common and widespread mountain resident.

Sandwich tern Sterna sandvicensis
Very common winter visitor and passage migrant.

Saunders' little tern* Sterna saundersi
Common breeding visitor.

Scrub warbler Scotocerca inquieta
Uncommon sedentary breeding resident of mountain areas only.

Short–toed eagle Circaetus gallicus
Uncommon migrant mainly September to April, but recorded in all months.

Shoveler Anas clypeata
Common migrant and winter visitor mid-September to March, occasionally to April.

Skylark Alauda arvensis
Common winter visitor November to early March.

Slender–billed gull* Larus geneii
Common non-breeding visitor, present throughout the year on mainland coasts and lagoons.

Socotra cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis
Resident, with huge flock movements noted off some coasts.

Song thrush Turdus philomelos
Common winter visitor November to March.

Sooty falcon Falco concolor
Breeding visitor to rocky islands, April to October, with nesting commencing in June.

Sooty gull Larus hemprichii
Breeding visitor to few remaining undisturbed Gulf islands, eggs May to June.

Spanish sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
Rare winter visitor late November to early March and localised resident.

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor in small numbers September to April, occasionally in May.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor, usually in groups and occasionally in summer.

Spotted eagle Aquila clanga
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor late October to March, occasionally in summer.

Spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Common passage migrant late March to June and late August to October

Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Common passage migrant and winter visitor September to March.

Striated (Bruce's) scops owl* Otus brucei
Uncommon breeding resident, with some local movement or migration recorded. Nests from April and young noted June to August.

Swallow Hirundo rustica
Very common passage migrant, occasionally all months.

Swift tern Sterna bergii
Breeding summer visitor, some resident and dispersive.

Tawny pipit Anthus campestris
Common passage migrant and winter visitor mid September to mid April.

Teal Anas crecca
Common and widespread passage migrant and winter visitor September to March, occasionally August and April, rarely in May.

Temminck's stint Calidris temminckii
Common passage migrant and winter visitor mid August to early May, though never numerous.

Terek sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common passage migrant and winter visitor late July to mid May, though rather localised.

Tree pipit Anthus trivialis
Common passage migrant March to mid-April and September to October.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Common passage migrant, less common in winter and few in summer.

Turtle dove Streptopelia turtur
Common passage migrant and breeding visitor April to September.

Upcher's warbler Hippolais languida
Regular passage migrant mid March to mid May and mid July to early October.

Water pipit Anthus spinoletta
Common winter visitor mid October to March.

Western reef heron* Egretta gularis
Common breeding resident, few on passage, dispersive in winter.

White–cheeked bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys
Locally common breeding resident, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

White–cheeked tern* Sterna repressa
Very common breeding summer visitor from April to November, occasionally in other months.

White–collared kingfisher* Halcyon chloris
Very localised sedentary resident on East Coast. Present only at Khor Kalba where less than 50 pairs remain.

White stork Ciconia ciconia
Irregular autumn migrant, some remaining in winter. Rare from March to early May, occasionally June.

White wagtail Motacilla alba
Very common winter visitor October to early April.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Common passage migrant, localised in winter.

Wigeon Anas penelope
Localised winter visitor October to March, rarely to April.

Willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common passage migrant late March to May. Fewer in autumn, mid August to October.

Woodchat shrike Lanius senator
Common passage migrant mid February to April. Scarce and irregular mid August to October.

Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola
Common passage migrant and rather scarce winter visitor August to mid May.

Yellow–legged gull Larus cachinnans
Sometimes considered a form of Herring Gull L.argentatus
, the nominate form of which is still unconfirmed in the UAE. However this species may in fact be more closely related to Lesser Black-backed Gull. Very common winter visitor September to April.

Yellow–throated sparrow Petronia xanthocollis
Widespread breeding summer visitor and uncommon passage migrant late March to mid September.

Yellow–vented bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos
Common breeding resident of mountains, wadis and nearby cultivations.

Yellow wagtail Motacilla flava
Common passage migrant, though in irregular numbers annually, peaking late February to mid May and late August to October.

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