A Visit to Al Ain After the Rain

Yesterday was a public holiday here in the UAE for the Leilat Al Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet). So I decided to head south to Al Ain which I last visited in April. I was not aware that a major storm had gone through the previous evening uprooting trees and dumping a fair bit of water around.  Did not affect my travels too much though thankfully.

Let here at 6 am and got down to Green Mub around 8 am – 2 hours to get to the other side of Al Ain from here.  Walked and drove around here for a couple of hours – highlight was a female Hooded Wheater.  This place is still so strange for me with its green hills with the backdrop of rocky mountains.

Next off to Ain Al Fayda, a nearby park which had received quite a bit of damage from the storm. Saw a couple of lovely Rufous Scrub Robins here. Then off to the top of Jebel Hafeet where the view was terrible due to the heat haze but after lunch at the Mercure, saw 9 Egyptian Vultures on one of the telecom towers on top of the mountain – my first vultures ever!

Down from the mountain to go to the golf course to see if there were any ducks on the lake (no) but there were some nice bee-eaters and a couple of red-faced golfers (it was pretty warm at this stage).

Before the golf course, I drove to the wastewater treatment works where they had some lovely ponds out the back last April. These are now all gone – bulldozed.

Drove back and stopped in to Ras Al Khor to notice that a lot of waders have started to come through on their southward migration (just happened this week) before dropping in to Mall of the Emirates to attempt to buy some sandals (my current ones are nearly dead) and a couple of other things. Very packed – took 20 minutes to find a car park (nearly gave up).

Today, I am off to my first Dubai Friday brunch then the rugby tomorrow. Recovery scheduled for Saturday evening.


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