Two wild bird species spotted in UAE for first time in 2017

Both of the species were spotted for in November this year

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Two wild bird species were spotted in the UAE for the first time this year, bringing the total number of recorded species in the country to 464, according to the Emirates Bird Record Committee.

One of the species added to the committee's database - which dates back to the 1970s - are the Arabian Spotted Eagle Owl (Bubo africanus milesi).

The bird was first identified on November 17 in the Hajar Mountains by Anthony Stoquert during an owl survey organised by the Emirates Wildlife Society in co-operation with World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF).

Paddyfield Pipit, or Anthus rufulus, was the second species to be added to the list, which was shared with Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, after it was spotted on November 24 near Hamraniyya in Ras Al Khaimah, reported state news agency Wam. The species is normally found from South Asia eastwards to the Philippines.


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Another notable record was the second spotting of the Omani Owl (Strix omanensis), heard in Fujairah's Wadi Wurrayah in March. The species was first discovered in 1878 in Pakistan and was not found again until 2013, when it was rediscovered in Oman. It was first found in the UAE by EWS-WWF, in Wadi Wurayah, in 2015.

One species was added to the UAE list in 2016, a Little Bustard, found in farms at Wamm, adjacent to Dibba.

Around 100 species of birds are known to breed or to have bred in the UAE.