Low sandy desert
low sandsheet topography is typical of much of the interior desert of
Abu Dhabis Western Region. Extending from close to the coast to
many tens of kilometres inland, much of this area remains relatively remote.
Few metalled roads penetrate the area and only sandy desert byways exist.
Four-wheel drive pickups form the main traffic, generally delivering provisions
to grazing camps,as well as fodder for livestock herds.
Of special significance to Arab falconers is the wintering population of houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii) found here, this being the main quarry species sought. Traditional falconry is a seasonal pursuit followed by hunting parties comprising individuals from all walks of life, and not just the wealthiest as is commonly thought.
The succulent scrubby Zygophyllum bushes provide ample cover for houbara amid the sandy hummocks, and the bird will generally rely on camouflage or 'crypsis' to avoid detection. Other migrant species of bird such as desert warbler (Sylvia nana) and desert wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) arrive en masse for the winter, to escape the rigours of winter in the central Asian steppes, to where they will return to breed in spring.
Ground beetles and various lacertid lizard species are common here, as
can be rodents such as gerbils, Much of this wildlife is active unseen
at night, but leaves behind its tracks as a clue to its real abundance.