Birdwatching

 

The Nile Valley is an enchanting place for Birders, the shores are full of waders and other birds, and the banks are full of warblers and other insectivorous passerines. Wherever you watch, there is always something.

 There are many herons, the most numerous species being Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), but almost equally common are the Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) , and Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea). Individuals of Great Egret (Egretta alba), Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) , Little Heron (Butorides striatus), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), and Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) can also be seen.

The most numerous waders are Spur-winged Plover (Hoplopterus spinosus), Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), and Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos).

In smaller numbers, you should also find Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus), Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii), Sanderling (Calidris alba), Great Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), White-tailed Plover (Chettusia leucura), and Kittlitz’s Plover (Charadrius pecuarius). This abundance of waders you would not expect inland!

There are also numerous Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) , and Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) , and many waterfowl swim in the shore waters, including most of the European duck species. Most common are Shoveller (Anas clypeata) , Garganey (Anas querquedula) , and Common Teal (Anas crecca) . There will certainly be tens and even hundreds of Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) , which are very abundant everywhere along the Nile .

Most of the gulls here are Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) , but also Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei) and Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaëtus) can be seen. The most numerous terns are the Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus) , but both the other Chlidonias terns may be found: White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) and Black Tern (Chlidonias niger ) . Also the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) was common. On the reefs of sand in the middle of the river, there are usually flocks of Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus) . There are usually many Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) as well .

On the river, you may see Black Kites (Milvus migrans) and Ospreys (Pandion haliaëtus) . On the shores Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) , Marsh Harrier (Circus aëruginosus) , Kestrel, and Northern Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) are to be found, and occasionally Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus). Large flocks of hirundines hunt for insects on the river. The majority of them are the Nile Valley subspecies of Barn Swallow, which has a dark red stomach, Savigny’s Swallow (Hirundo rustica savignii) , and Pale Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne obsoleta) .

In lesser numbers, there are common Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) , and Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) . Observing the reed and bush covered banks of the river, one can find White-bellied Coucal (Centropus senegalensis)

On the marsh meadows, you should find lots of feeding birds, including, besides the waders, many passerines. The most abundant of them are White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) and Red-breasted Pipit (Anthus cervinus) . In addition, also Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) , Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) , and Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) , various subspecies, are common.

There are also many Hoopoes (Upupa epops) , and Palm Doves (Streptopelia senegalensis) and other birds coming to drink. Near the shore in the bush, you may see Zitting Cisticola  (Cisticola juncidis) and Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) , as well as Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) and Mediterranean Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) . Here it is also easy to find the Nile Valley Sunbird (Anthreptes metallica) .

Bluethroat is also significantly abundant. Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) and Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) are found almost on every spot. Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus) are common everywhere.

And instead of being carried past at high speed in a floating hotel, you are liberty to stop wherever and whenever you wish to observe the above.

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