Rare lapwing’s first nest ever found in Dubai


White-tailed lapwingFrom Good Animal News:

Rare migratory bird found breeding in UAE

Published: April 10, 2007

The nest of a rare migratory bird to the UAE, the White-tailed Lapwing, was spotted in Dubai for the first time.

“This indicates the bird’s successful breeding in this part of the region,” said Dr Reza Khan, Head of Dubai Zoo, who spotted the nest recently in a Rhodes grass field off Al Warsan near the Sewage Treatment Plant of Dubai Municipality.

Four eggs were laid in a ground nest. Though the species are occasionally spotted in Dubai, this is the first time that a sign of its successful breeding has emerged.

“White-tailed Lapwing or White-tailed Plover [Vanellus Leucurus] is a wader in the Lapwing family of birds. The nest I found was in a mat grass bed in an open area.

“It was virtually devoid of any nesting material except a few tiny twigs and dry grass blades.

But there was a slight depression on the ground made through pressing down the original green grass.

“The clutch contained four eggs, which were heavily blotched and more or less merged with the grassy background,” said Dr Khan.

He added that the Lapwing used to be a rare migratory bird to the UAE during the 1990s.

“Now we have a breeding population in the Pivot Field and Al Warsan Lake in Dubai. The total population in these areas could be over 50.

Some specimens from these areas might venture into the neigbouring wetlands including the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and Nad Al Sheba.

Some others would frequent marshland or harvested crop and grass fields bordering the wetlands,” he said.

The bird breeds semi-colonially on inland marshes in Iraq, Iran and southern Russia.

The Iraqi and Iranian breeders are mainly resident, but Russian birds migrate south in winter to south Asia, the Middle East and north east Africa. It is a very rare vagrant in western Europe.

“When I approached the nest, the incubating bird virtually remained flat over the nest and left it before I could be within 30 metres of it.

“They are normally very apprehensive of predators and would chase away other Lapwings and intruders passing close to their nest,” said Dr Khan.

See also here.

The ghaf tree of the Arabian peninsula: here.

Javan lapwing: here.

1 thought on “Rare lapwing’s first nest ever found in Dubai

  1. Dubai most congested city in Middle East -study
    Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:11PM EDT

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai is the Middle East’s most congested city with a growing number of cars overwhelming the transport system, a study said on Saturday.

    Commuters in Dubai, a Gulf Arab trading and tourism hub, spend nearly two hours in their cars per day, often in bumper-to-bumper traffic, recruitment company GulfTalent.com said.

    Spiraling rents in the emirate, where population growth is outpacing the supply of housing, are pushing people to cheaper areas farther away from the centre of town, raising commuting time, GulfTalent said.

    Spending on transport infrastructure in Dubai and other Gulf countries has lagged investments in more glamorous mega projects, such as a tower in Dubai that developers say will be the world’s largest when complete next year, the study said.

    The 15-kilometer commute from the neighboring UAE emirate of Sharjah, where many expatriates live, takes an average of two hours and 44 minutes roundtrip despite two express highways, GulfTalent said.

    Dubai’s average total daily commuting time was one hour and 45 minutes, resulting in reports of stress and fatigue among drivers.

    Dubai is planning to spend at least 75 billion dirhams ($20.42 billion) over the next five years building roads, bridges and a metro system.

    The population of Dubai, which is building islands in the shape of date palms and a world map off its coast, has almost doubled over the past decade and may double again to more than 2 million by 2015, according to figures from the emirate’s transportation authority.

    Dubai is planning a four-line metro system which should begin operations in 2009, a floating bridge over Dubai creek, the city’s main waterway, and water taxis that will run along the creek and to the man-made islands off the coast to ease congestion.

    Dubai also had the Middle East’s largest shortage of parking space, forcing many residents to leave home earlier to find parking close to work, GulfTalent said.

    The survey, based on responses from 5,000 professionals in 14 Middle East cities, named Cairo as the second-most congested city, with average daily commuting times of one hour and 33 minutes. Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, was the least congested city, with an average commuting time of 46 minutes.

    © Reuters 2007.

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