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Egypt……The Birders’ Paradise

Situated at the juncture of three continents Europe, Asia and Africa; Egypt with its unique location is sanctified with wide variety of bird habitats that range from high rugged mountains to tropical style jungle along the lush Nile basin. With its 5000 Year- old archaeological and historical sites, Egypt provides a number of diverse ranges of fauna and flora, particularly some African bird species not found elsewhere in the Western Pala arctic.

Located on the major routes of migratory birds, over 470 bird species pass through Egypt in the fall and return in the spring months. One third of these species is resident and found in Egypt year around. Among the various species of birds one can watch many globally threatened and endemic species like Grey Hron,Black kite,Brown necked Raven and many others.

Egypt ……Sacred Birds Gods

Marveling at Egypt’s antiquities sheds light on the fundamental and vital role that birds featured in the Egyptian ancient history, particularly that some of the earliest and most important Egyptian gods, such as the falcon-headed god Horus, were thought to manifest themselves in Various Birds. Several examples in the ancient Egyptian History embodied that the Egyptians were interested in taking birds as their gods such as Nekhbet, a goddess represented in the form of a Vulture.

Furthermore, the ancient Egyptians were superb natural historians and on walls of their temples and tombs, over 76 different species of birds can be identified. Though many of these depictions present the hunt, these hunting scenes were symbolic. For instance; scenes portraying the pharaohs netting wild fowl are interpreted to symbolically represent the King taming the inimical spirit. Visiting the fascinating stepped Pyramid of Sakkara and the mastabas of Ti and Mereruka will show the amazingly accurate carved representations of birds of ancient Egypt.


Traveline organizes bird watching package tours amongst the most exotic sites in Egypt. Our smart arrangements and tour guides well known for their expertise, professionalism and love of nature.


 Every year Traveline sucessfully runs consecutive trips for the following agent:

  • Ornitholidays UK


 

 


Egypt
…. Birding Habitats & Sites

Egypt, as described by many ornithologists, is fortunate to have a large selection of habitats. A number of habitats in Egypt is ideal and suitable for bird population not only the lush Nile River valley but others as well. The 150-resident breeding species of birds in Egypt belong mainly to two zoogeographical regions consisting of Palaearctic and Ethiopian. These bird species are confined mainly to the Nile Valley, the Delta- where the wetlands and cultivated areas can be found- as well as the Eastern and Western deserts- the land of saline lakes and oasis.

 

Furthermore, Egypt occupies a unique geographical location as a bridge between the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Being a bird migration corridor, Egypt attracts some 280 additional species of birds that pass through the country on their way from Europe and Asia to Africa each autumn and on their way back each spring. Storks, raptors, waders and passerines passing through make birding in Egypt memorable adventure.

 

Among all the Egyptian Birding habitats, the listed places remain the most out-standing birding sites in Egypt:

 


Cairo
 

In spite of being one of the world’s huge metropolises that is cloaked in excitement and the noisy honking of car horns, Cairo offers comprehensive introduction to birds. The species most frequently seen in the city environment are Palm Dove, Common Bulbul, Cattle Egrets in addition to a species of restricted distribution on the Western Palearctic, Chiffchaff, Hooded Crow , House Sparrow and Senegal Thick-Knee. One of the prime locations in the city to spot birds like Graceful Prinia, White Wagtail and Spotted Flycatcher is El-Gezira Sports Club.

 


East Delta and Gebel Asfar:

The Mosaic of reed beds, fish farms, the cultivated areas in East Delta feature perfect conditions for bird watching. In such area a birder can encounter a variety of birds including White-breasted Kingfisher (the only location in Africa for this Asian species), Greater Painted-Snipe, Streaked Weaver, Kittlitz’s Plovers, Senegal Coucal and Spanish Sparrows (Seen at the Area twice in 2009). In addition, The Gebel Asfar sewage treatment plants offer some good waders like Marsh Sandpiper, Red Shank and Green Shank and Clamorous Reed Warbler.

 


Fayoum:

The Western desert Semi-Oasis of Fayoum with its well-known saline Lake Qaroun is excellent for bird watching and is important as a wintering ground for Grebes , Ducks and Shore birds like Ringed Plovers, Ruffs, Little Stints. Birds such as Crested Larks, Spur Winged Plover and Southern Grey Shrikes also are found in the lush agricultural lands surrounding the lake.

 


Ain Sukhna:

Located about 55 km. south of Suez overlooking the Gulf of Suez, Ain Sukhna (the Arabic for hot spring of water) is situated along a major flyway for Palearctic migrant birds. With the large numbers of raptors and storks that cross through the area every year, Ain Sukhna is considered a Migrant Trap. Birds such as Egyptian Vulture, Honey Buzzards, and Steppe Eagles can be spotted among the migrant birds of prey flying over the area.

 

The Ain Sukhna’s expanding Valley, Wadi Hugul, with its lush bushes surrounded by the limestone dunes is considered a rich sight. Birds such as Hooded, Mourning, Isabelline, White-Crowned black and Northern Wheatears can be obviously identified in this tranquil valley. Along the whole valley, a birder should keep lookout for Creamed-Coloured Courser, Blue Rock Thrush (Seen frequently in the Valley since 2008 a winter visitor or a reluctant migrant), Brown –Necked Raven, Desert and Hoopoe Larks (one of the target birds for the Western Palaearctic tickers).

 


Suez
:

Suez sits at the southern end of the Suez Canal, offering both a visit to that historical construct, as well as great bird watching opportunities. The location of Suez as one of the most important concentration points for migratory birds of prey highlights the city as a vital birding habitat. Moreover, the mudflats in Suez are frequented by a large number of shorebirds such as Grey and Greater Sand Plover and Curlew

Sea birds like Great Black headed, Caspian, Lesser Black backed and Armenian Gulls can also be spotted in addition to guaranteed House Crows.

 


Sinai Peninsula
:

The amazing and mystic place on earth, Sinai is the cradle of the three religions major monotheistic religion: Judaic, Christian and Islam. The best birding spots in the whole peninsula are Ras Mohammed and St.Catherine protectorates.

 

 

 

Ras Mohammed, located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is one of Egypt’s oldest protected areas. Though the area is better known for its coral reefs, the protectorate is a nesting ground for Osprey and Sooty Falcons. Herons and Waders like Oyster Catcher, Curlew, and Whimbrel are abundant.

 

Among the high famous mountains of Sinai Peninsula, St. Catherine protectorate with its well-know Greek Orthodox monastery combines birds and history. The massive garden of the Fifth Century Monastery attracts both migrant and resident birds like Tristam Grackle, Scrub Warbler, Sand Partridge and Sinai Rose finch. 

 

In the nearby holly Valley, Wadi Feran, some bird specialties such as Palestine Sunbird, Yellow Vented Bulbul and Black Start can be obviously observed.       

 

 

The Red Sea:

The Red Sea region provides shelter to reefs and Mangroves. The spectacular coral reefs of the Red Sea enchant all the area visitors. Despite the fact that The Red Sea attracts more divers than birders, the birding habitats scattered along the Red Sea mainland coast are ideal shelters for some Bird species not found elsewhere in the Western Palaearctic.

 

 

St.Paul monastery, the fascinating Fourth Century Coptic church, features one of the fundamental migrant spots. Thousands of raptors like Imperial, Booted and Short toed Eagles are observed flying over the Cave-like-monastery site. Previous trip reports recorded views of Wryneck, Sand Partridge, Creamed-Coloured Courser (seen last April 2009 at the same location inside the monastery) and Thrush Nightingale.

 

 

 

Situated 20 Km north of Hurghada, El-Gouna with its massive Golf Course are the only patches of green for miles. The area attracts many birds (pipits, larks, wheatears, hoopoes) .Overlooking Abu Shaeer Mountain, many migrants passing over Egypt can be spotted from El Gouna.

 

Moreover, The Red Sea Islands such as Gifton, Abu Monqar and Magaweesh provide amazing views of some endemic bird species like White-Eyed and Sooty Gulls. Besides, Other birds like Western Reef Herons, White-Cheeked and Crested Terns, and Brown Booby are guaranteed to be watched.

 

 

 

 


Luxor
:

In spite of Fame of the city as a major attraction for its preserved temples and multitude of the archeological sites; Luxor is featured as a perfect location to view typical birds found in the Lush Nile Valley. Birds such as Red Avadavat, Painted Snipe, Rufus Bush Robin and guaranteed Nile Valley Sun Bird are vividly spotted on the cultivated lands of Crocodile Island (Luxor’s out-standing Birding Site).A visit to the magnificent Temples of Karnak and Luxor provides good opportunities for the view of Little Owl as well as Barn owl.

 

 


Aswan
:

With its distinctive African atmosphere, Aswan provides exceptional bird spotting.  Known as Egypt’ Gate of Black Africa, as described by Dr. Sara Wilson in one of her birding tour reports, Aswan is a target for all Birders and Tourists alike. A white Felucca sail in Aswan hopefully tallies eight species of heron including Striated, and maybe Ferruginous Duck. Some Raptors circle the western bank of the Nile, and amongst them one may also spot a Marsh Harrier or Sparrow Hawk. A visit to the nearby hotel: Amon would be splendid site to spot Three Banded Plovers. Other breeding and migratory water birds such as the Egyptian Goose and Senegal Thick-Knee can be watched in Aswan.

 


Abu Simble:

Being a World Heritage Site, Abu Simble with its Fascinating massive Rock temples of Ramses II and His beloved Wife Nefertari remains one of the main birding sites for African Species. Driving in the Nubian Desert , crossing the Old Camel Stops, enables patient birders to spot the beautifully camouflaged desert Birds : Spotted and Crowned Sandgrouse. Such quintessentially desert birds are naturally secretive but with care and patience it should be able to find both species 

 


 

 
 
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