Wednesday 11 September 2013

Creekside Park, Dubai, September 2013

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,
He knew he shouldn’t yet he,
Went out along the jetty,
The local chaps saw his slow collapse,
And smirked as he came undone.
Suited, booted, belted,
He melted.
In old Dubai, ‘neath a clear blue sky,
The natives are apt to sneer,
At a sun-struck fool, who has lost his cool,
At the end of a shadeless pier.
In Creekside Park, the Crested Lark
Looks after number one,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Today didn’t quite go to plan. The plan, such as it was, was to try and describe a route around the prime birding sites of Dubai. But it was fiercely hot and come Thursday lunchtime, traffic was already building for the weekend. I had to change my plans and decided on a short, gentle stroll through Creekside Park.

There are three entrances along the western edge of the park. The most southerly entrance is by the Children’s City at Google Earth ref; 25 14 7.66N 55 19 35.13E. Air conditioned bus stops here are a blessing when the heat hits you like a well aimed brick.
It was noon as I stepped from the cab and ridiculously hot. I was only likely to see the common birds that I have seen many times in Dubai, so what made me do this to myself I wonder. Anyway I persevered for a couple of hours in the midday sun and nearly did myself a mischief into the bargain.

A Striated Heron was sheltering beneath a short jetty and I tried to creep up and take its picture. This meant stepping out from the shade into the full heat of the early afternoon. A very uncomfortable experience. From the end of the jetty, I could see a good number of birds shading themselves on the base of the supports for Garhoud Bridge and my curiosity got the better of me. I couldn’t get close enough to make a good identification, but I suspect that many of them were Red-wattled Lapwings.

There were a few of the lapwings on the shore of the creek as I walked along the beach. There were also a few Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and some Whimbrel. One of the Whimbrel was trying to find some shade in the childrens' playground where the hot metal apparatus must have been torture for little hands.

High above me the wires of the cable car system made a good perch for European Bee-eaters, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, and of course, loads of Eurasian Collared Doves.

Down to earth in the park, Eurasian Hoopoes were as common today as I have seen them before.

Most of the birds had made shade their priority of the day and I felt bad about flushing them and making them exert any energy in the stultifying heat. One moment of excitement came when I passed a treeful of White-eared Bulbuls and Red-vented Bulbuls in full squawk. Something had obviously upset them, but I couldn’t see what it might have been. There are a few feral cats in the park and perhaps one of them was threatening a nest. I gave the area a full look over and found a young Red-vented Bulbul. Perhaps the parent birds were getting very excited as their offspring left the nest.

Birds seen;

Grey Francolin 4, Striated Heron 1, Red-wattled Lapwing 15, Common Ringed Plover 1, Common Sandpiper 6, Common Greenshank 1, Whimbrel 5, Eurasian Collared Dove 60, Laughing Dove 4, European Bee-eater 4, Eurasian Hoopoe 15, House Crow 25, Red-vented Bulbul 5, White-eared Bulbul 20, Common Myna 45, Asian Pied Starling 3, Purple Sunbird 3, House Sparrow 120

For a previous post from Creek Park, follow the link below;

Visit the dedicated Middle East Page for more posts from Dubai., including Mushrif Park, Safa Park and Ra’s al-Khor.

1 comment:

  1. It must be a challenging place for birds to live! It's amazing to think that a bird like a Common Ringed Plover may have spent weeks in a cool period in northern Iceland, and then fly south into that heat.