Monday, 15 January 2018

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

I just love having visitors because most of the time they are keen on exploring and happy to participate in any adventures I have planned. I don't really have many other friends here, so normally when I want to go check something out I have to bring (=bribe) the kids to come, and they usually are a lot less enthusiastic.

Another thing I've been eager to go visit for quite a while now, is the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. This reserve is located in an area which is known to become water logged during the winter months, and the presence of this water is attracting a large number of waterbirds.

The area was designated as a nature reserve back in 1998, and it is a known habitat and breeding area for above all the Greater flamingo, although more than 260 different species of birds have been recorded here. This place provides a perfect habitat for long-distance migratory birds.

The weather this time of the year is absolutely perfect so you really want to make the most of it. I often try to come up with fun outdoor activities to enjoy it to the fullest.
This time it was only Erika and I that went, as both kids were busy with sleepover friends though.

Although I think we might go back, as it was actually a really lovely walk we had out in the wetlands, and it wasn't as far away as I first thought. Only about a 30 minute drive from home, if that.

When you arrived at the reserve, there was a small Visitors Center where a local guide welcomed us and told us a bit about the reserve, and what we were going to see. There was two different trails we could follow, a shorter one about 1,5 km long, and the longer one at 3 km.

We opted for the longer one. Linda, Johan and their two sons were there too, and Samuel the 5-year old managed the walk with the promise of a "fika-break" halfway, and only a minimal amount of complaining. No problem!

Apart from the flamingos, we spotted a few stilts, lapwings and stints. I know this because we also were provided with a great guide book from the Visitors Center, with the different birds depicted and described.

This guide book also helped us identify the many plants, shrubs, flowers and bushes we saw along the way. This is a Desert Hyacinth for example! Isn't it pretty!

The promised coffee break halfway around. We had brought a small picnic from home.

More flamingos:

The Visitors Center by the parking lot:

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