Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday (10) - Greater Flamingo

I have to say that I was surprised to fins out that I may be able to see Greater Flamingos when I was in Dubai.  While I have no prior experience of these birds - zoos and TV shows excepted - I not associate them with the Middle East.    Which just goes to show how much I really know!

About 15 minutes drive from the middle of modern Dubai you can find series of tidal salt pans known as the Ras al-Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.  They also seem to be watered by waste water from city. They are an extension of the tidal river - Dubai Creek - which was the original point of settlement in this area.

Even as we drove along the six lane highway that flanks the salt pans you could see a strange pink white line in some parts - and that was the flamingos.  At peak times there are about 4000 of them gathered at this spot.

Even further evidence that money is not always lacking in this part of the world the hides around the salt pans (there are three) have there own security guard and Zeiss telescopes and binoculars for the public to use!  The views of the distant birds were great - and much better with the provided glassware than with my "travel" bins!

Eventually I found a couple of birds that came within lens range - and with a bit of cropping (The poor man's telephoto!) I got some decent images.

As far as I can tell the single bird shown here is a juvenile - but I'm a bit out of my pay scale here!

Although Dubai can be very hot it's worth going to have a look at these birds - I saw a couple of other species as well, but they were distant - although half  a dozen Red Winged Lapwing showed in the scope and kept things "ticking" along!





So, now its over to you!

Click on the link below to join in Wild Bird Wednesday.

34 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

that's so cool! i wouldn't have thought of flamingos in dubai either!

EG CameraGirl said...

I must admit I'm surprised flamingos live there. Blogging is sooo educational, don't you think? Not quite as good as having been there in person but a decent substitute. :))

Phil said...

I just wonder how long Zeiss equipment would be there in some of our UK Nature Reserves. Good shots Stewart - as you say thank goodness for cropping and lots of megapixels.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots of birds, so many of them together.

Connie Smiley said...

Wow, that must have been an interesting trip! Love your photos, especially the first one with all of them in a line.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Cool birds! Love seeing so many in your group photo. That you can find them in Dubai is fascinating. Aren't greater flamingos usually pink? Here I see pink legs and white feathers. Just curious!

i stora drag said...

So fun to be able to see those in Dubia! I also like the first one with all in a row!
Greetings Pia

HansHB said...

Great serie of photos of this flamingo. I have some photos of the pink one, taken in Marocco last year!
Have a nice WBW!

eileeninmd said...

Cool shots of the Pink Flamingo. They are cool birds to see in the wild. The slat pans seem to be a habitat they prefer. Great shots, Stewart!

Liz said...

WOW! What an experience, Stewart! I would never have thought Flamingos would be in Dubai either!
I have the poor man's super zoom lens too...

NatureFootstep said...

from my book I would say it is a one year old bird. Looks a it spooky, doesn´t it?


I have to mention that I can´t enter your linkylist from Explorer 9. The button "Next step" interfears with the text "Comments". There is no problems from Google Chrome. So the problem should be with Explorer.
I was thinking that maybe a couple of blank lines after the linky code would do the trick? There might be people who can´t join :(

Andrea said...

They don't seem to be pink, the way they are pink in the west. I assume thay don't have ready access to the shrimp that causes the pick color in other places. They are extremely interesting birds, whatever the color. Great shots and lucky you to get to visit the stomping grounds of the very rich. It is quite the place to see ... I think one time would do for me too.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Findlay Wilde said...

They are all standing on two legs not like the ones at the Martin Mere that stand on just one leg. Is it because it is warmer over there. Gary at Martin Mere said they stand on one leg to keep warmer. From Findlay

mick said...

Great birds to see in the wild and good that some came close enough for photos.

Anni said...

I love the flamingos all in a row like that!!!

Carletta said...

I like that 'chorus' line of pink legs in the first shot!
Glad you found time in your busy work week to sightsee and find these lovely creatures.

Adam Jones said...

Unusual to see the flamingos there in Dubai. I guess it's all down to food supply in the end. Lovely shots Stewart.

TheChieftess said...

I lovel flamingoes!!! We saw only a few while in the Galapagos...I've never seen the big flocks like this! I did see baby flamingoes at our LA Zoo years ago and the babies were definitely grey!!! While in the Galapagos, I did capture a flamingo in flight!!! Not a crystal clear focus, but darned close!!!

Thanks for visiting MammothLakesDP Stewart!!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow! I would never have thought of flamingos there! One of my sisters was in that area for a few years, but guess she wasn't a bird watcher!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Must have been wonderful to see these flamingo, an unexpected bonus.

Gary said...

Great shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

SandyCarlson said...

Goodness, these are beautiful shots. The flamingo is a marvel.

bailey-road.com said...

Such elegant looking birds! Great captures.

Linda said...

What a wonderful opportunity to see them in the wild! Great photos...it would be such a thrill!

Jean said...

Stewart, I would say that you got several very good captures of these very cool birds. Nice!

Arija said...

I have always loved these funny looking birds on stilts, great that you could have a good look and shot at them.
I'd love to see then when they are red although that depends on the food they eat and does not seem to be native to Dubai.

Lucky hot and over-worked you!

Becky said...

Indeed an amazing bird. I've never seen these I don't think even in the zoos. You did GOOD!

Misty DawnS said...

Very cool! I've only seen flamingos in zoos.

Gillian Olson said...

Great to see the Flamingos, and quite a big grop of them too. They are paler than the ones that I have seen in the south of France.

Danielle said...

I have never seen such a pale/white Flamingo...are the undersides of their wings black like the pink ones?

Martha Z said...

Nice that you got a little time for birding.

Hanne Bente said...

Nice pictures you show of flamingos - know them only from ZOO.
Hanne Bente

Debbie said...

WoW, awesome first shot!! i hope to join in next week!!

Monica said...

Oh,- I "envy" you the trip to Dubai! Great post, and wonderful photos of the flamingos!
Have a nice weekend, and thanks for hosting:)