Bulletin 3 - October 1977: A Black Francolin (or Black Partridge) in Abu Dhabi

A Black Francolin (or Black Partridge) in Abu Dhabi

by D.M. Corfield

On the 26th May 1977 at 0545 hrs I was visiting the area adjacent to the Abu Dhabi sewage farm with Mark Hollingworth to record bird migration activity when we heard the call of a Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) -- but despite an extensive search of the area we could not find it.

We both returned to the area that same evening and after hearing the call for some time eventually located the bird (a male) and positively identified it by the use of a telescope.

I also saw the same bird on the 3rd June 1977, and again on the 9th June. It has also been seen at other times by members of this Group.

On the evening of the 3rd June 1977 the bird was very close to the sewage farm fence line was observed calling from a small sand mound. It was seen by Dick Rootham (Deputy Manger of the Abu Dhabi Sewage Works), Rolan Morgan (a member of this Group), and myself.

I have noticed that the main call of the bird is preceded by a sound like the soft click of a garden gate latch closing. I believe this is the first recorded sighting of the Black Francolin in Abu Dhabi, but would be glad to hear of any other record for this area.


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