your cursor on the photo to see the species name.)
Photo copyright Vaughan
Photo copyright Jean-Sébastien
Syria - from Birdlife International. Syria is poorly known
Many parts of the country have never been visited by birdwatchers, and
there has been almost no systematic fieldwork. The number of bird species
and their population densities are both relatively low. West Palearctic
species predominate, and most of the species from this group which breed
are confined to the Jibal al Nusayriyah and Jibal al-Sharqi ranges, the
distribution of many extending down to the altitude of Damascus.
of Syria - from Syria On-Line. An introduction to every and each
that can be found in Syria, either on regular basis, or in exceptional
circumstances. The information presented here is largely based on
studies conducted by the Syrian Ministry of State for Environment Affairs,
and published jointly with the UN Environment Programme.
Annotated Ramsar List: Syrian Arab Republic. Information on the
al-Jabbul Nature Reserve.
Ibis breeding in Syria - Colony of Northern Bald Ibises
in Syria - Birdlife International Cambridge, UK, 8th July 2002.
Report: Syria and Jordan - 8 May – 14 June 1994. By
Hofland. A friend and I made a 5- week journey through Syria and Jordan.
Our main interest was to visit a number of historical sites, supplemented
by some interesting bird areas. My friend wasn't a birdwatcher, but since
I did all my birdwatching in sites that were scenically beautiful, he didn't
Report: Syria - 24 February to 8 March 2002. By David Murdoch.
is completely off the birding map, with very little information on its
avifauna; the distribution maps in bird guides are hopelessly inaccurate
and almost the only useful information I could find were the four trip
reports on the OSME website and the Birdlife International book on Important
Bird Areas of the Middle East (MI Evans, 1994), which makes abundantly
clear the huge gaps in our knowledge.
Report: Syria 19th – 26th September 2002, by Dominic Le
and Miles Wheeler. The main objective of our trip to Syria was to see Iraq
Babbler, a species only recently found to be present along the river Euphrates
around Deir-es-Zor, hundreds of miles from known nest sites in Iraq. The
prospect of good numbers of migrants and the chance to make an ornithological
discovery in this very underwatched country also appealed. Despite its
negative image in the West, we found Syria to be among the most friendly
countries either of us had ever visited, and almost everyone seemed to
go out of their way to make us feel welcome.
country has a good road system, a cheap bus network, and
which can be hired for the day at reasonable cost. Recommended sites from
to watch birds in Asia - by Nigel Wheatley. include:
Damascus - The mountains
west of Damascus support a good selection of eastern Mediterranean species,
including the Syrian Serin and the more widespread but localized Crimson-winged
Finch. Birding places include:
around the small village of
Abu Zad, which lies at 1500 m above the resort of Bludan, 50 km northwest
the steep hillside at the northwest
end of Wadi al-Qarn on the north side of the Damascus-Beirut road, 1-2
km southeast of Jdeideh; and
around Burquesh on Mount Hermon.
Tadmur - one of the world's
best historical sites, with a large desert oasis - good for migrants. The
seasonal salt lake, Sabkhat Muh, and its steppe surrounds, to the south
of Tadmur, supports wintering Eurasian Dotterel and Finsch's Wheatear.
Species recorded at Qasr el-Hair es-Sharqi, a ruined castle in the desert
35 kilometers northeast of Tadmur, include Lesser Kestrel, Cream-colored
Courser, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, and Temminck's and Desrt Larks.
Aleppo to Dayr al-Zawr -
From Aleppo, east to the Euphrates River and south along its floodplain
to Dayr al-Zawr, there are a number of good birding sites, including:
the large salt lake, Sabkhat
al-Jabbul, and its steppe surrounds, just south of Jabbulk village, 35
km southeast of Aleppo;
Halabiyyat Zulbiyat, 40 km northwest
of Dayr al-Zawr on the east bank of the Euphrates;
Shumaytiyah, an ox-bow lake
20 km northwest of Dayr al-Zawr;
Mayadin Pool, 2 km southeast
of Mayadin; and
the small marsh some 10 km south
of Al-Ashara Bridge, southeast of Dayr el-Zawr, towards the Iraq border.