Dubai World Record Eagle Flight

You will enjoy watching this video sent to me from a friend. They took an eagle up to tallest building in the world in Dubai and released him. He has a camera strapped to him.

He then comes down and lands on his handler’s outstretched arm. Amazing footage.

Eagles are an amazing creation from the Lord.

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. (Obadiah 1:4 KJV)


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Greater Flamingo

PHO-Phof Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Greater Flamingo ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 10-9-14

Here’s another species from Dubai, the Greater Flamingo. It’s well-known there, occurs in the Ra’s al-Khor wildlife sanctuary near the centre of town and is suitably iconic for a place where flamboyance is preferred to subtlety :-). We didn’t go to this sanctuary but found about 50 Flamingos feeding in the shallows near one of the Crab Plover sites that we checked at Khor al-Beida north of the city.

This spot was right beside a Sheik’s well guarded palace. Tommy warned that using a large telephoto lens there could attract unwelcome attention from the guards, so these photos were taken through the window of his 4WD. The birds in the first and second photos are adults with the pink colour of the legs and bill and the red plumage in the wings well-developed.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by IanThe bird in the third photo is an older juvenile. The bill is still grey, the legs are just beginning to show a pink flush and there is little red showing in the wings. The full adult plumage is acquired after about three years.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian
Flamingos are a taxonomically isolated group with 6 species in a single family – Phoneicopteridae – in their own order the Phoenicopteriformes. Four of the species occur in South and Central America, with 2 Old World Species The Greater and Lesser Flamingos. The Greater Flamingo occurs in Africa, the Middle East, southern Europe and in Asia as far east as India. There is one Australian record from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1988, so it has the honour of being on the Australian list.

Greetings from Strasbourg where we are having a pleasant few days in this lovely city staying with Gillian daughter Jeannine and her husband Carlos. Tomorrow we go to Barcelona by TGV en route to a couple of birding spots in the foothills of the Pyrenees where I hope to get some raptor photos to share with you. THE target species is the Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier, so I need your spiritual support and enthusiasm!


Lee’s Addition:

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 ESV)

Love those Flamingo, no matter what kind. There is just something about that beak and the pose they portray. Thanks again, Ian, for sharing your latest find among the avian in Dubai.

American Flamingo Beak cropped

American Flamingo Beak by Lee

Of the Flaming Family on Ian’s Birdway site, this must have been his first Flamingo. At least that is all he shows for the Phoenicopteridae Family.

Ian’s Birds of the Week

Ian’s Phoneicopteridae Family

Flamingos – Phoenicopteridae Family


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crab Plover

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crab Plover ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9-22-14

Well your spiritual energy and goodwill did it again, helped physically, admittedly, by the excellent local bird guide Tommy Pedersen, a Dubai-based pilot from Norway who takes visitors birding in his spare time.

There had been some doubt as to whether he’d be free to help us, as he was just returning from a trip to Milan. I cc’d the last bird of the week to him and got a delightful reply just as I was packing in Bluewater on Monday morning:

So, I arrived in Dubai at 5:00 am, checked into my hotel at 7:00 am and at 11:00 am Tommy arrived, collected me and Madeleine – who’d just arrived from Hamburg – in his large and comfortable 4WD and off we went. The tide wasn’t quite right for the Crab Plovers so we did a few other things first – more about those in the next bird of the week – eventually ending up at the coastal sand and mudflats of Khor al-Beida, north of Dubai city. Here, there were about 40 Crab Plovers moving through the shallows on an in-coming tide.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

​I did a gradual, crouching trudge across the mudflat in 42º heat to try to get as close as possible to them. They let me get closer than I had expected, photos one and two, before eventually taking flight, third photo. As you can see they are very striking birds and the name ‘Plover’ doesn’t quite do them justice, either in appearance or taxonomically. Apart from the heavy dagger-shaped bill, they are more like avocets and similar in size with a length 40 cm/16 in. The bill resembles that of a Beach Stone-curlew, presumably a case of convergent evolution reflecting their crustacean diet.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

The fourth photos shows a close-up of one of the birds in flight. You can see that it is moulting heavily with many of the flight feathers missing in mid-replacement. This seemed to be the case with all of them, and a reluctance to fly may have had more to do with my close approach than my crouching/stalking skills.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

Taxonomically, the species show no very close affinities with other waders so the Crab Plover is the sole member​ of its own family (‘monotypic’), the Dromadidae. This is placed in the order Charadriiformes – Plovers & Allies – sitting between the Oystercatchers (Haemopodidae) and the Avocets & Stilts (Recurvirostridae). I feign indifference to making additions to my life list, but adding and photographing a whole new family is a different matter. The last time that happened to me was three years ago with Diving-Petrels on the Sub-antarctic trip.​

I arrived in Ireland yesterday and am spending a relaxing and enjoyable time with family. Yesterday evening I went blackberry picking with my sister along a country lane near where she lives in Clogherhead, Co. Louth. That was admirable therapy for the future-shock resulting from the glittering excesses of downtown Dubai.


Lee’s Addition:

If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; (Job 8:5 KJV)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)

We love to seek out new species, to us at least. I am glad that Ian was able to find his Plover that was on his list. I guess we will have to wait until next week to see if he found his Cream-coloured Courser that he was also searching for. See last week’s Bird of the Week.

Ian sure gets about in his search for avian encounters. But what a beauty he found this time to share with us. I am glad Ian shares his photos with us. The Lord sure has created some neat birds. I like the clean look of these Crab-plovers all dressed in white and black. (The IOC list them as Crab-plovers. No matter what you call them, they are the Dromas ardeola.)

Seeking the Lord should always be our number one priority.


Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Dromadidae – Plovers Family

Dromadidae – Crab-plover Family – Here


Dubai’s New Year’s Celebration – Did You See It?

Have You Seen These? Dubai’s New Year’s Celebration had 500,000 explosions. Guinness was there for a record event. The worlds tallest building is where most of these are going off from.

Here are two different versions. Enjoy