All ENHG members are welcomed to 2003.
Many thanks to all of you who have paid up already, but subscriptions are due
NOW. In order to keep our records straight, don't be at all surprised to be
asked at the door of forthcoming meetings whether we have your contact details
correct. This will help us greatly, so that when we stop sending you reminders
about your annual sub. being overdue we can also knock you off our mailing list
for the monthly newsletter, Focus, and the Group's journal Tribulus.
Alternatively, it will ensure you definitely continue to receive our high
quality publications. Fair's fair? At 100dhs. for a whole family for the year it
must be as good a value as you can find round here. It's the same price for
individual members, but this still seems more reasonable than reasonable to the
committee, and, of course, makes the maths easier for our treasurer).
Rest assured nobody is going to be refused entry of any of our lectures, of
course, but note we do reserve the right to levy an entrance fee on non-members
(although we've never done it in the 25 years since the Group was formed!). As
for field excursions, however, only paid-up members are entitled to go on these
and that is where, I'm afraid, we are going to stand firm. All excursions
continue to be ably led by Allestree Fisher and are highly recommended for
novice and expert alike. All of our excursions are advertised in the newsletter,
but it is best to find out about the forthcoming programme by attending the
evening meetings. You might well ask what do we do with all the money raised
through your subscriptions, as well as through the generosity of our corporate
sponsors, and here, therefore, is a potted answer.
Firstly, let it be stated categorically that nobody draws any salary or
bursary of any kind. All our committee and others who help do so entirely
voluntarily. Costs incurred are all those associated with goods and services
supplied to members - thus speakers' expenses (when asked for), production and
distribution of Tribulus, purchase of sales stock and equipment for use on field
excursions (for example GPS, digital camera, telescope & tripod) and on
events such as the inter-emirates weekends. The only situation where funds are
spent otherwise concerns applications for assistance to the group's so-called
'Conservation Fund'. Peter Hellyer mentions some of the previous recipients of
grants from this fund in his note in this issue of Focus entitled 'ENHG helps
ADIAS airport dig', ADIAS being the latest recipient of just such an award.
Please note that the Conservation Fund is open for applications throughout
the year and decides on the merits of projects on an individual basis as they
come in. Locally based projects take priority, even if earlier support went
overseas on a number of occasions. Proposals deemed worthy of the Group's
support are offered a modest cash award.
Now, to our forthcoming lecture programme, John Newby kicked off the new year
with a talk on 'Saharan wildlife', and this is to be followed by ERWDA plantman,
Gary Brown, talking on the 21st on the 'Natural History of Kuwait'. For February
we are pleased to note that two former ENHG chairmen will be speaking. On
February 4th Dick Hornby will be addressing us on the 'Natural History of
Spain', while on the 18th Steve James will engage us with 'Tales from the
African Bush' - tall ones, no doubt. That takes us up to March when we expect to
have Dubai NHG Gary Feulner talking on the Ru'us Jibal and Fred Launay on the
work of WWF in the UAE.
That's all for now, so see you at the meetings.
Simon Aspinall, Chairman
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Don't Give Offence!
A cautionary tale reached the Focus team the other day from Brien Holmes,
Chairman of the Al Ain ENHG. Apparently Brien was paying one of his regular
visits to the delightful little Omani mountain village of Khutwa, not far from
Al Ain, when he was accosted by a furious local lady who proceeded to complain
loudly, volubly, and at great length about the offence being given to Khutwa
villagers by visiting tourists from the UAE (and overseas).
The lady concerned was, in particular, steaming mad about the inappropriate
clothing being worn by many of the female visitors - shorts, skimpy and low-cut
tops etc., etc - just the kind of revealing wear that is most definitely
unsuitable for a visit to a traditional mountain village.
Brien wasn't able to comprehend all of the Arabic, but also got the
impression that there had been the occasional incident of semi-clad visitors
engaged in steamy clinches being encountered by shocked Khutwa residents.
The main culprits, it seems, are tourists being brought to Khutwa by local
tourist firm Arabian Adventures - and Brien will be writing a strong letter to
the company to ask them to provide a bit of advice on a dress code and on
cultural sensitivities to their customers.
But the general message is one that it's worth repeating, again and again.
When visiting mountain villages in the UAE and neighbouring parts of Oman, or
wandering along the Corniche, for that matter, PLEASE give some thought to what
you're wearing and how you behave, whether you're male or female. Offence is
easily given, but a bit of forethought and consideration is much preferable!
By the way, lest anyone gets the idea that Khutwa residents are a backward
lot, we should mention that a couple of former Group members, and their wives,
rented a house in Khutwa for several years, going up there most weekends, and
being welcomed into village life, despite their poor Arabic. But then these
Group members showed a decent respect for the traditions and culture of their
fellow villagers - and quite right too.
Khutwa, like many other UAE and Omani mountain villages, is a lovely place to
visit. The villagers, by and large, are welcoming, as many Group members can
testify. The ignorance, carelessness and thoughtlessness of visiting tourists
(and the tour companies that bring them in) are eroding the welcome that so many
of us have enjoyed. Let's make sure that no Group members behave the same way.
And, as for the Al Ain ENHG, they've now introduced a dress code for trips
into the mountains. Members who fail to comply simply find themselves asked to
drop out of the trip.
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Volunteering at the Airport Archaeological Site
Remember the part in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," where Indiana Jones
and his girlfriend use an ancient medallion to align the sun's rays, enabling
them to open a tomb full of treasures? Well, forget that. Real archaeology is
more like the part in the movie where all the workers are digging, filling
buckets and emptying them, over and over and over...
Having spent ten days toiling away at the airport archaeological site
(actually located at the nearby Al Ghazal Golf Club) as a volunteer, I now have
a much better idea about what is involved in excavating archaeological sites,
and certainly a greater appreciation for the long hard hours and rewards
associated with such work.
Because any sort of digging irrevocably alters a given site, the first task
of any archaeological team, obviously, is to survey the area in question
properly. At the airport this involved volunteers walking through the site with
blue and red-tagged nails - red for pottery, blue for flint. Each tag had a
number, and my first day on the job was helping to find all those numbers (in
order) and assisting while each nail's position on the globe was noted by
surveyors from HILALCO. Hilalco gave generously of their time to survey the site
for ADIAS. After that, we combed the site to find all the flint and pottery
visible on the ground surface, bagging and tagging items found around each nail.
As almost 400 individual nails were used, this took four of us worker bees three
full days of work amid the dust and occasional flying golf ball. Glamorous, even
dangerous, work indeed.
The next task involved laying a five-metre grid on one of the sites. Again a
detailed survey was completed, finding not only the exact earthly location but
also its altitude above sea level.
After this the truly hard work began, first by clearing off all the loose
sand in the grid down to 15 cm. We then took our buckets of sand over to the
sieving area, and each and every bucket was duly sieved. Sometimes I'd find
something immediately (usually a piece of flint or pottery), other times I'd
sieve eight or ten buckets, finding only stones.
Some days we were lucky, a slight breeze keeping much of the dust away.
Whenever the wind dropped, though, the suffering started: with nowhere to blow,
the dust covered us! At the end of the day, dust had penetrated every article of
clothing, covered our eyelashes (and everything else) in gypsum.
We eventually found quite a few pieces of flint (300+) but at first weren't
all that excited-believing that they were merely scrapings left behind from
making flint tools. But we perked up considerably when ADIAS archaeologist Heiko
Kallweit informed us that we'd found quite a few small tools - used for piercing
holes in beads, for example. Percentage-wise, about 10% of the flint found while
sieving was actually tools. All this took three days, with anywhere between
three and six people sieving at once, so it often felt like we weren't
Finally, after sieving five square metres of topsoil, we began digging,
hoping to find further flint and pottery or organic matter to confirm whether
previous surface finds were in situ or not. This involved going another 15 cm
down, but didn't require any further sieving. In the event nothing further was
found. Instead, we slowly cleared away sand, putting it in buckets and
wheelbarrows, which we emptied 10 metres away. My shoulders were quite sore
after 5-6 hours of shoveling and carrying buckets each day, for three days
All in all, a great experience and the time outdoors was a nice change,
despite any discomforts along the way. Add to that the fact that there we were
given some time off for good behaviour - and snakes, lizards and a variety of
birds - the experience really wasn't that bad at all. I don't think I'll go into
any kind of manual labour as a career, but it was interesting to find out what
exactly is involved. And to gain, firsthand, a bit more respect and admiration
for people who are patiently working to uncover our collective history.
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Abu Dhabi residents can hardly have failed to notice the mass destruction of
mesquite over the last few months-bushy, leguminous trees with dark green
compound leaves of very small leaflets. Mesquite, or Prosopis juliflora, is an
alien invader originally from Mexico but now well established in most of the hot
dry parts of the world. One could argue that it is good to remove it because it
will reduce competition for native species such as ghaf Prosopis cineraria and
sidr Ziziphus spina-christi. The fact is, however, that mesquite is a hardier,
more adaptable species than any of our native woody species, and it can
establish itself and even thrive in places where nothing else can grow. It is
highly drought resistant and is tolerant of saline and even polluted soils. We
can expect, therefore, that if the policy of Abu Dhabi Municipality is to
drastically reduce or even eliminate mesquite, the city will have a permanent
reduction in natural (or at least unplanted) woody cover.
This will have serious consequences for the birdlife of Abu Dhabi, which uses
mesquite extensively for nest sites, hunting for insects, roost sites and
general cover, particularly from the armies of feral cats. Many, if not most, of
Abu Dhabi's best bird sites have already succumbed to the march of development,
and the lack of mesquite will certainly deal the birds another blow. The damage
is now being compounded by the municipality who, as compensation to upset
residents that have lost a lot of their birds and privacy, are offering
eucalyptus saplings-a species which, in most of the world outside Australia, is
regarded as an environmental disaster.
Why then has this ruthless policy been adopted? When Municipality workers
employed in mesquite destruction are tackled on the matter, they answer that
mesquite is harmful to human health. In fact they say it has carcinogenic
properties and causes asthma and allergies. If we were to start eradicating all
plants containing potentially harmful substances, there would not be very much
left! And if the tree is so dangerous, surely it is surprising that the hundreds
of workers employed in the task of removing it are not given any kind of
protective clothing such as protective glasses and gloves!
It is too late to avoid this blow to Abu Dhabi's wildlife, but I hope it is
not too late to avoid damage to the global environment. If thousands of tons of
mesquite wood are all burned, all the carbon which the trees have sequestered
through photosynthesis over the last two or three decades, will be emitted to
the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, where it will enhance the global greenhouse
effect, and hence global warming. Let us hope that the municipality has the
wisdom to compost all the green material and use the wood for some
environmentally benign purpose such as mulch or woodchips for horse-riding
Saif al Shrubbari
[Is there really hard evidence to prove mesquite is harmful to human
health? If you know we'd be happy to publish a follow up item in Focus.]
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ENHG helps ADIAS Airport dig
At its meeting in December, the Group Committee agreed to give a grant of Dh
5,000 from the ENHG Conservation Fund to the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological
Survey, ADIAS, towards the cost of its fieldwork at the Abu Dhabi Airport
The Conservation Fund was established several years ago to provide a way in
which the Group could make a contribution to projects or individuals undertaking
work that related directly to the objectives of the Group, both inside and
outside the United Arab Emirates. Previous recipients of grants in recent years
have been Dr. Marijcke Jongbloed, for work on the production of the new
checklist of the flora of the UAE, Dr. Reza Khan, Director of Dubai Zoo, for
fieldwork in the Sunderban forests of Bangladesh, Dr. Peter Magee, of the
University of Sydney, for work on the Iron Age archaeological site at Muwailah,
in Sharjah, and Dr. Michele Ziolkowski, also of the University of Sydney, for
excavation of a small fort from the Portuguese period at Bidiya, in Fujairah.
The ENHG grant to ADIAS will be used to help to pay the salary of the
director of the archaeological fieldwork, Dr. Heiko Kallweit, (who addressed the
Group's 17th December meeting), while ADIAS has also welcomed ENHG volunteers to
work on the site. Two reports on the work are carried elsewhere in this issue of
Focus, while a scientific report will be published later in Tribulus.
As Group members will know, a number of Committee members are also associated
with ADIAS. These declared their interest at the Committee meeting, and the
decision to make the Grant was voted on only by Committee members not linked to
PS: As ADIAS Executive Director, I would like to thank the Committee, and the
Group, for its support for the ADIAS work at the Airport, both financial and in
terms of volunteers. The first season of ADIAS work at the Airport, in the
summer of 1995, also involved volunteers from the Group, and I am delighted that
we have, once again, been able to give Group members a chance to get involved in
our archaeological work.
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Archaeology at the Airport - Talk Report
The Group meeting on 17th December focused on the archaeological work being
undertaken at Abu Dhabi Airport by the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey,
ADIAS, with the help of a number of volunteers from the Group.
Introducing the work, ADIAS Executive Director (and Group Committee member)
Peter Hellyer outlined the history of work at the site. First identified during
a bit of random birdwatching in early 1995, the site lies adjacent to the sabkha
salt-flats in the area of what has now become the Al Ghazal Golf Club. In the
summer of 1995, ADIAS team members had visited the site to find bulldozers hard
at work destroying the sandstone hills on which the site lay, he said. Thanks to
prompt action by the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation Department, Sheikh
Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, however, the bulldozers were stopped almost
literally in their tracks, only a few feet away from one of the main
archaeological features, and ADIAS, with the help of some volunteers from the
Group, carried out a brief season of survey, surface pick-up and excavation in
June and July. Not the best time to do archaeological work, he noted!
The work showed that the site had been used at three distinct periods, he
noted - the Late Stone Age, (around 7.500 to 4,000 BC), the Bronze Age (around
3.200 BC to 2000 BC), and then around the beginning of the Christian era, 2,000
years ago. Fine flints from the Late Stone Age and pottery from the Bronze Age
were found, as well as two stone-lined wells, both partially excavated.
Last May, Peter's ADIAS colleague Dr. Heiko Kallweit, from Germany's
University of Freiburg, visited the site to see what had been uncovered as a
result of erosion over the last few years, and found several important stone
Among these, Heiko said in his part of the talk, were 'microliths,' small
stone tools which would have formed part of a composite tool like a sickle,
being set in a row in a wooden handle to cut grasses. The discovery of these
microliths represented a 'first' for south-eastern Arabia, Heiko told Group
members. As yet, howevetr, it is not possible to be sure whether the sickles
would have been used for cutting wild grasses, or are evidence of the earliest
beginnings of agriculture.
During the December fieldwork, Heiko, fellow ADIAS team member (and Group
Committee member) Ingrid Barcelo and the dedicated group of ENHG volunteers have
been carefully recording small flint tools on the surface of part of the site,
and have also been collecting these tools for further study.
According to Heiko, the Abu Dhabi Airport site is of major importance. Not
only is it one of the very few sites in the UAE with evidence of occupation
during both the Late Stone Age and the Bronze Age, but it may also provide
information about the transition between the two.
The occupants of the site during the Late Stone Age, he said, may have
originally had links to Late Stone Age occupants of Palestine and Jordan, and
certainly would have had domestic animals.
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TWITCH IT! - Report for December 2002
Abu Dhabi birders had a bit of a struggle during December to match the
remarkable collection of birds at Dubai's Wimpey Pits, but, by getting out
regularly, some pretty good records were made. Best of the bunch was the UAE's
2nd eye-browed thrush, found by Steve James at Ghantut, the first having been
seen by Dave Robinson at Asab back in 1988! A flurry of black-throated thrushes
was recorded, as were a couple of red-breasted flycatchers, while three of THE
speciality rarity for the capital, crested honey buzzard, were around all month.
Most records came from the island and the Al Wathba Camel track, though it's
good to see that a few also came in from the Umm al-Nar golf club. Best bird of
all was the thrush from Ghantut.
To a selection of the records.
On 1st December, a barred warbler was seen in the central reservation by the
central bus station with the Spinney's area of Khalidiya producing a late
nightingale, a tree pipit, wryneck and 2 hoopoes.
On 2nd December, Khalidiya had 5 black redstarts and a tatty crested honey
buzzard. A spotted eagle was at the Eastern Lagoon.
An afternoon at Al Wathba Camel Track on 3rd December found 50 bimaculated
larks, purple heron, pallid harrier, 7 marsh harriers and, at dusk, about 10
On 4th December, an expired wryneck was being eaten by ants at Bateen. A
barred warbler was seen again near Khalidiya Spinney's, with a pair of little
green bee-eaters looking settled in on the patch of ground adjacent to the
On 6th December, a spotted eagle was high over Mushrif Palace Gardens where
one, or just possibly two, red-breasted flycatchers were showing well. A masked
shrike was also seen there during the week and seems to have stayed into the New
Year. A steppe buzzard was at Al Wathba Camel Track.
On 9th December a crested honey buzzard was spiraling over Mushrif in the
company of a tethered, full-size Dalmatian dog. The credibility of the observer
(Simon Aspinall) remains just about intact, since the dog turned out to be a
helium-filled kite in the shape of the polka-dotted mutt. Also on 9th December,
a very late, but gorgeous looking male pied wheatear was at the Health and
Fitness Club. A spotted eagle, 3 kestrels, a sparrowhawk, 3 song thrushes and an
isabelline shrike were between Spinneys and the Hilton. On 10th December, a
glossy ibis and an isabelline shrike were in Mushrif Palace Gardens, with a
great black-headed gull at The Club.
On 12th December, Al Wathba Camel Track had 2 marsh harriers and a pallid
harrier, 75 Pacific golden plovers, 2 Temminck's stints, a barn owl, 35
bimaculated larks, 56 skylarks, 30 tawny pipits, 15 yellow and 40+ white
wagtails. A wryneck was at Khalidiya.
On 13th December, a gaggle of 5 greylag geese was at Al Wathba Camel Track,
along with a great white egret, 2 Montagu's harriers, 20 ruff, 68
chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, 23 bimaculated larks, 37 skylarks, 30 short-toed
larks, a sand martin, a swallow, a meadow pipit, 5 Richard's pipits, 45 tawny
pipit, a red-throated pipit, 38 water pipits, 4 yellow wagtails, 8 bluethroats,
12 isabelline wheatears, 15 desert wheatears, 2 Siberian stonechats, 4
isabelline shrike and 4 Southern grey shrike. 2 red-breasted flycatchers were at
Mushrif Palace Gardens, along with a sparrowhawk and a grey wagtail.
2 black-throated thrushes were at the Umm al-Nar golf course on 14th
December, along with a hoopoe lark, 8+ great cormorants and a little egret. The
Eastern Lagoon roost had 53 cattle egrets and a glossy ibis, this latter staying
into the New Year.
On 15th December, Al Wathba Camel Track had 5 pallid harriers, a falconer's
saker, 62 Pacific golden plovers, 6 Egyptian nightjars, 25 bimaculated and 30
short-toed larks, 4 Richard's pipits and a Blyth's pipit, 10 isabelline and 15
desert wheatears, 10 isabelline and a steppe grey shrike, 4 starlings and a
On the 16th, the UAE's 2nd eye-browed thrush was found by Steve James at
Ghantut, along with 2, possibly 4, black-throated thrushes and a single male
On 18th December, a grey-headed wagtail, 5 whimbrel and 2 night herons were
at Maqta in Abu Dhabi. An examination of the Eastern Lagoon area found 36 cattle
egrets, 5 Western reef herons, a glossy ibis, a spotted eagle being mobbed by an
osprey, a Pacific golden plover, 7 turnstones, a greenshank, 6 whimbrel and 2
On 19th December, a return visit to Ghantut found 4 black-throated thrushes
(though not the eye-browed thrush) and a male hypocolius, while at the adjacent
Polo Club were 21 cream-coloured coursers, 16 Pacific golden plovers and 39
Also on 19th December, 2 crested honey buzzards and a honey buzzard were on
the Al Manhal radio mast with a wryneck and 2 chiffchaffs in the Mushrif Palace
Gardens. 2 pairs of little green bee-eater were in the Khalidiya area.
Visits to Al Wathba Camel Track on 20th December found 5 greylag geese, 6
marsh harriers, 1 Montagu's harrier, 2 pallid harrier, a Steppe buzzard, a
sparrowhawk, 3 kestrel, a quail, 5 Kentish plovers, 69 Pacific golden plovers, 3
curlew, 75 ruff, c.125 short toed larks, 46 bimaculated larks, 15 skylarks, 1
small (Oriental) skylark, c.70 tawny pipits, a tree pipit, 5 meadow pipits, 8
Richard's pipits, a Blyth's pipit, 18 red throated pipits, c. 55 water pipits, 4
yellow wagtails, 2 Siberian stonechats, 18 bluethroats, 12 isabelline wheatears,
20 desert wheatears, 6 isabelline shrike, 5 Southern grey shrike, a Steppe grey
shrike, 8 starlings, 8 corn buntings and a merlin hunting larks at dusk,
possibly the bird seen twice previously this winter. Spotlighting from 1815
found 7 Egyptian nightjars on the sodden tracks.
On 21st December, a steppe grey shrike and 11 skylarks were at the Abu Dhabi
Golf and Equestrian Club. On 22nd, the glossy ibis, 3 song thrushes and,
overhead, 2 crested honey buzzards were at Abu Dhabi's Eastern Lagoon.
Two black redstarts were at Abu Dhabi's Khalidiya on 24th December but little
else.A crested honey buzzard was at Mushrif Palace Gardens, along with one of
the 2 red-breasted flycatchers and 7 chiffchaffs. On 26th December, 2 Egyptian
geese were at the Umm al-Nar golf course, along with a Pacific golden plover, 4+
whiskered terns and a desert wheatear.
On 26th December, a honey buzzard and 7 song thrushes were in the
Intercontinental/Hilton area of Abu Dhabi , with 7 pintail, 2 teal, 2 curlew, a
whimbrel, 90 white wagtail, 3 citrine wagtail, a water pipit and a desert
wheatear at the Health and Fitness Club. A Blyth's pipit was on Khalidiya. In
the afternoon, Al Wathba Camel Track had its 5 greylag geese, a steppe buzzard,
a juvenile pallid harrier, Pacific golden plover numbers up to 85, 22 ruff, 45
chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, a small skylark and 2 Blyth's pipits, as well as
On 27th December, a brief visit to Al Wathba Camel Track found 5 grey lag
geese, a male marsh harrier, a pallid harrier (hunting and killing a palm dove),
80 Pacific golden plover, 23 ruff, 22 chestnut bellied sandgrouse, 45
bimaculated larks, 35 short toed larks, 40 skylarks, 65 tawny pipits, 20 water
pipits, a bluethroat, 8 isabelline wheatears, 16 desert wheatears, 6 isabelline
shrikes, 4 Southern grey shrike and a steppe grey shrike. An afternoon visit to
the Al Wathba Lake produced highlights of an avocet, 8 black-tailed godwits, a
spotted redshank, 5+ red-necked phalaropes, 10+ black-necked grebes and 30
shelduck. 700 or so duck were present, including 300+ shoveler, 250 teal, 65
mallard, 30 pintail and a couple of gadwall. 2 Arctic skuas were offshore Abu
On 29th December, a minimum of 12 great black-headed gulls were off the
Corniche during the shamal. On 30th December, 3 crested honey buzzards, an
'ordinary' honey buzzard and one more not identified to species were over the
Golf and Equestrian Club. A saker (escape?) was at the Abu Dhabi Airport golf
club, where 20+ red-wattled plovers and 6 black-winged stilts appear to have
taken up residence around the sabkha pools.
And as for the New Year? Well, there's a feast to report next month from the
first three days of 2003! More next month.
(The Twitch It! Report is extracted from the weekly Twitchers' Guide
newsletter, compiled by Simon Aspinall and Peter Hellyer, which can be found on
the Ministry of Information website at www.uaeinteract.com Records, please, to
Hellyer@emirates.net.ae OR Hudhud10@emirates.net.ae
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Forthcoming ENHG Field Trips
||Overnight camping field-trip to Qarn Nizwa, Jebel Buhays, Tawi Fili, Qarn
al Himar,Wadi Qawr, Hatta, Ra'y, Buraimi.
The overnight stop will be at Qarn al Himar.
||Overnight camping field-trip via Al Ain oasis and museum to the Hanging
Gardens. The overnight will be in the vicinity of Jebel Qattar, and
participants will be invited to climb up the mountain on Friday morning.
||Family camp and sand driving instruction (Alan McGee leading) in the Al
Wathba area. This will be an overnight at less than 60mins from Abu Dhabi.
||The second of our floral walks. This time in the western lagoon area of
Abu Dhabi Island. At least two plants specialists will be in attendance. A
picnic lunch will follow.
||An overnight camping field-trip to the Liwa Oasis. Camping in the sands
with a survey of life in the dunes. Returning via Ghayathi.
||Desert ecology camping field-trip (Chris Drew leading) This trip,
previously postponed, will focus on reptiles and rodents in the Umm Al Zumul
||Overnight camping field-trip to Ras Al Khaima emirate covering
archaeology, flora, fauna and sea shells.
||Overnight camping fieldtrip to the East Coast, incorporating visits to
Ohala and Wadi Hayl.
Note: Simon Aspinall has agreed to lead a bird-watching excursion soon. This
will be announced at a future ENHG meeting. Ingrid Barcelo may be able to
organize a visit to the Royal Stables, possibly on a Thursday morning. For
details of all forthcoming excursions you are advised to attend the bi-monthly
meetings of ENHG, as dates and destinations may be changed at short notice.
Requests for future trips are invited and should be directed to the Excursions
Secretary or any committee member.
Allestree Fisher, Excursions Secretary
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Items for Sale on ENHG Stall
Abu Dhabi Bird checklist
10Dhs (free if spend over 50dhs )
Birds of Europe
100Dhs (bargain - covers most birds in this region)
Birdlife in Oman
120Dhs (Beautiful photographs by the Eriksen's)
Birdwatching Guide to Oman
95 Dhs ( signed copies by Eriksens, Sargeants)
Birdwatching Guide to UAE
50Dhs (reduced from 60 Dhs, author our chairman Simon - get him to sign copies)
Breeding birds of UAE
SB 30Dhs / HB 60Dhs (again reduced. Author Simon - get him to sign copies).
100Dhs (facts about the region - aimed at the kids)
150Dhs (Peter Hellyer's highly readable, informative book - get him to sign your
30Dhs (useful little waterproof guide to the regions shells)
20Dhs (find out about our local turtles)
30Dhs (Rheza Khan, Director of Dubai Zoo - know your local trees)
Whales and Dolphins
120Dhs (Collins latest photographic guide)
Wild about Mammals
40Dhs (Marijcke Jongbloed mammals of the UAE )
25Dhs (Marijcke Jongbloed - Know your local wild plants)
15Dhs per pack (great to send home - local scenes)
ENHG T shirts, Caps, Sweatshirts
25Dhs, 25Dhs, 35Dhs (Buy any 2 - get 10Dhs off)
New for the Bookshelf: Two new books for the Group Bookshelf - and
both well worth getting.
The island of Abu Al Abyad
Published by the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, ERWDA,
this book is a detailed look at the environment, wildlife, archaeology and
geology of the UAE's largest island. This book is NOT available in the shops, so
the Group's Book-Table is probably the only place most members will ever get a
chance to buy it. At a price of Dh 125, it's well worth having. Buy quickly,
while stocks last!
Feast of Dates
Written by leading archaeologist Dan Potts, and published by Trident Press, this
book outlines the history of date cultivation (the oldest evidence of date-palm
consumption by Man, over 7,000 years ago, comes from an archaeological site on
Abu Dhabi's island of Dalma) and also examines the role of the date, and the
date palm, in the traditional life of the people of the region. It also looks at
current research, as well as other topics.
This book isn't available in the shops in Abu Dhabi yet, either. Another good
chance for Group members to buy one at the special rate of Dh 150. Limited
The Book-Table probably has the best collection of books and booklets on the
UAE's natural history and heritage to be found anywhere in the capital,
including many that are not available through the shops. Bring a well-stocked
wallet or purse to meetings (and preferably a carrier bag too!) We can't promise
something new for every meeting, but there are more new books in the pipeline!
TRIBULUS - complete your set!
Group members who would like to obtain back copies of our refereed bi-annual
journal TRIBULUS might like to know that copies can be obtained of most past
issues (and, if the arms of the Editorial Board are twisted sufficiently gently,
photocopies could even be made of issues which, like Vol. 1.1 and Vol. 1.2, are
out of print).
Individual copies can be purchased for 10Dhs.
TRIBULUS is the ONLY regular English language scientific journal on the
natural history, archaeology, palaeontology and natural history of the Emirates.
Members wishing to obtain back copies should contact either Peter Hellyer
(firstname.lastname@example.org) OR Simon Aspinall (email@example.com). If they
can be collected from my office at the Ministry of Information, so much the
better - but please give advance warning, as not all back issues are kept there.
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||Natural History of Kuwait
||The Natural History of Southern Spain
||Tales from the African bush
||The Ruus Jibal
||WWF in the UAE
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Simon Aspinall (Chairman)
Richard Perry (Deputy Chairman)
Wafa Morda'a (Secretary)
Hazim al Chalabi (Membership Secretary)
Peter Hellyer (editor of Tribulus)
Charles Laubach (Member)
Andrew Twyman (Sales)
Arun Kumar (Treasurer)
Dick Hornby (Member)
Ingrid Barcelo (Member)
Allestree Fisher (Excursion Secretary)
Drew Gardner (Member)
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Corporate Sponsors of the ENHG 2003
The following companies are supporting the ENHG's conservation efforts in the
UAE. We hope you, as ENHG members, will in turn support these companies whenever
Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO)
Al Fahim Group
Al Nasser Holdings
Al Sayegh Richards Butler
Abu Dhabi Grand Meridien
Mohammed Bin Masaood & Sons
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Trowers & Hamlins