Bird life of Fayoum Oasis

27th - 28th April 2018

Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) landing at Lake Qarun
Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) at Lake Qarun, Egypt

This week I finally gathered the courage to take my camera equipment out to Lake Qarun, an oasis in the Fayoum region of Egypt. After all the hassle I'd had from various egyptian authorities I was pretty nervous, but with friend and environmental ranger Matt Dowse for company as well as his partner Alys and local guide Ahmed Mansour it looked like my best hope of getting some wildlife shots.

In fact it turned out better than I expected. Ahmed arranged a pleasant house with a view over the lake and Graceful Prinia, European Bee-eater and Hoopoe in the garden.

An evening walk down to the lake at sunset added Pied and White-throated Kingfisher, Spur-winged Plover and noisy Clamorous Reed Warblers singing from the reedbeds.
European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) hovering
Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) in the reed bed Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)
European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)

The next day got even better with an early morning visit to a large flock of Greater Flamingo feeding in the shallows followed by a very enjoyable few hours birding around the edge of the lake. Some highlights included: Great Grey and Woodchat Shrikes, Green and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Zitting Cisticola and Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin (full species list below).

Overall an excellent trip and I'd recommend both Lake Qarun and local guide Ahmed Mansour to anyone living in Egypt who's interested in the local bird life.
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) feeding
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) feeding on a black rat (Rattus rattus)

Fayoum Species List

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Great Egret(Ardea alba)
Little Egret(Egretta garzetta)
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)

European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)
Common Swift (Apus apus)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)
Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)
Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)
Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
Red avadavat (Amandava amandava)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)