East Coast Road Trip with the Boys

Today headed off to the East Coast on a road trip with Peter and David.  We headed off much later than I would have if I was going by myself but great to have the company on such a long trip.  Left Dubai at 7.30 am and first stop was Fujairah National Dairy Farm at Dibba.  We got there around 9.15 am when it had already hit 37 degrees.  Walked around the farm for a while spotting a few birds but not too many.  The Hoopoes and an Isabelline Wheater were the highlights.

Back in the car to rehydrate and cool down as we drove into Dibba to look around and tick off another couple of Omani border posts before heading down the coast where we had lunch at the Sandy Beach Resort to escape the heat of the day.  David felt like he got second degree burns on his feet walking in sandals across the hot sand of the beach.

03052008-sandy-beach-to-snooopy-island

Off south towards Fujairah where we stopped at some ponds at Al Qurrayah to wander around for a while (only 39 – 40 degrees now).  Felt like we’d had enough birding so time to see some culture.  Visited the Fujeirah Fort which is being redeveloped and we could not get in so went off to Al Hayl fort – not that old at 150-200 years but very interesting.  Well preserved and amazing how the updrafts from the rifle holes of the fort managed to keep the inside relatively cool in the 43 degree heat.  Even though it was that hot, it was a very dry heat and a bit of wind so not that uncomfortable.  Little stairwells in the corners to go from one floor to the other of the forts and houses which were not that easy to navigate.  Fascinating place and well worth the journey.  Saw a skink, a dragon lizard and a couple of geckos which was nice to see some reptilian wildlife. 

    

And here are two shots of a few asses on the trip as well.

03052008-asses 

Final stop was at Khor Kalba south of Fujairah to spot the Collared Kingfisher of which there are only 50 pairs around.  Saw one and that was enough. Then headed to the beach where we were going to swim but with the fisherman pulling in the nets, there was a heap of dead baitfish around so not that pleasant.  The gulls and terns and Sanderlings were loving it though (and so was I).  David managed to bog the car in the sand and we needed a bit of help from a couple of passing policeman to help push it out (by hand).  By this stage, sun going down, gentle sea breeze and only a relatively pleasant 35 degrees but still managed a lather of sweat with trying to push the car out.

Only 90 minute drive home on the 116 through the mountains – and exactly that – through the mountains in tunnels!  A wonderful round trip.

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