Trapping of Falcons in Jordan

Falcon hunting in Jordan - JBW

As part of the “People and Birds of the Southern Levant” project, a study was carried out on illegal trapping of large falcons in eastern Jordan. The results were published in Sandgrouse (Khoury et al 2020). The report provides a much needed counterpoint to recent media outputs that glorify modern falconry in the region as a practice steeped in ancient desert tradition and a ‘heritage sport’.

In reality, modern falconry has evolved into a widespread sport in the Gulf region, stimulating the captive breeding and release programs of species targeted by falconers, such as Macqueen’s Bustard, establishing reserves for falconers, and other novel activities like falcon “beauty contests” and races.

The higher demand for wild falcons has elevated black market prices and thus trapping pressure on large falcons like the Saker and Lanner that are globally or regionally threatened. Illegal falcon trapping in eastern Jordan started in the 1950s and accelerated in the 1980s to meet rising demand for wild falcons due to the rise of modern falconry practices fuelled by growing wealth in the Gulf region.

Trafficking is apparently well organized in the Middle East region, with the help of social media outlets, and much of the falcon smuggling remains undetected at border crossings.

Fares Khoury, Cheryl Makarevicz, Abdel-Razzaq Al-Hmoud and Steve Mithen (2020): The illegal trapping of large falcons in Jordan. Sandgrouse 42, 239-247.

Bird News, 2020

Terns in Aqaba Jordan JBW

The Jordan Bird Records Committee (JBRC) accepted in 2020 various new reports of rare birds in Jordan including the 10th record of Black Vulture at Azraq last winter. A Crested Honey Buzzard in Aqaba during March was apparently part of a small group that stayed for the winter. Groups of White-cheeked Terns were recorded along the beaches of Aqaba during two successive years (2017-2018); these included fledged juveniles getting food from their parents, although nesting probably occurred on islands further south. A Black bush Robin in April 2019 in the city of Aqaba was the fifth national record; three out of the five records were in Aqaba. The second and third records of Yellow – browed Warbler in Jordan included a bird at Burqu’, eastern Jordan, during September and another in Aqaba in late 2019. For more details see (JBRC).

Significant records of birds include the first two confirmed breeding events of Ferruginous Ducks in Jordan. Several chicks and juveniles were seen accompanying their parents at Azraq and the Aqaba Bird Observatory during May-June 2020. Both breeding reports were located in protected areas. Even after decades of over pumping of ground-water, there is some good news from Azraq, such as the extension of the reserve to include parts of the mudflat close to the wetland reserve. The mudflat or “Qa’” is occasionally flooded in winter, forming a large shallow lake, attractive to a variety of water birds that visit or breed if the water does not completely evaporate before summer. Ferruginous ducks were among the birds apparently benefiting from winter floods and the extra protection this year, and at least two pairs bred in pools surrounded by dense vegetation adjacent to the shallow lake. Other ducks breeding at Azraq this year included Mallard, and for the first time in Jordan, one pair each of Shoveler and Pintail. Further species certainly or probably breeding along the edges of the Qa’ during 2020 were Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Gull-billed Terns, Greater Sand Plover, Kentish Plover and Collared Pratincoles.

JBRC LIST of Decisions

Batch 26

The following records have been accepted by JBRC

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla

One, sub-adult, near Tafilah, 11 th January 2023. (M. A. Al Awaji). First confirmed record for Jordan.

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus

Four, including adults and at least one 1cy, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 5 th December 2022 (F. Rahahleh). 10 th confirmed record for Jordan, nine of which were at Aqaba, where it is regularly recorded for the last six years.

European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria

Three near Madaba, 15 th January 2023. (F. Khoury). Third record for Jordan.

Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris

One at Al-Kafrein Dam, Jordan Valley, 14 th January 2023. (R. Tamimi, Y. Mufti). Second record for Jordan, the first was at the same site one year earlier (see batch 25).

Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike Lanius isabellinus

One at the Azraq Wetland Reserve, 16 th October 2022 (A. al-Aisami, H. Hreisha). 4th records after taxonomic separation. Records of this species have become regular at Azraq in recent years.

Fares Khoury, JBRC Secretary, April 2023.

Batch 25

The following records have been accepted by the JBRC

Three -banded plover Charadrius tricollaris

One adult, Kafrein Dam/Jordan Valley, 9 April 2022 (R. Tamimi, W. Al-Hayek). A new species for Jordan.

Striated Heron Butorides striata

One adult, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 5 December 2021 (L. X. Horn). Rarely recorded away from Aqaba where it is regular (3rd confirmed record away from Aqaba). Further sightings of single birds at Azraq were reported in September 2020, March and May 2022.

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos

One sub-adult, Wadi Araba, 20 September 2020 (L.X. Horn). Extremely rare resident or visitor in Jordan. Considered here due to lack of recent records.

Fares Khoury, JBRC Secretary, June 2022.

Batch 24

The following records have been accepted by the JBRC:

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

One adult male, Azraq, 10 May 2021 (H. Hreisha). 9th record for Jordan; first away from Aqaba.

White cheeked Tern Sterna repressa

Two, 14 July 2020, and 20+, 10 September 2020, Aqaba (F. Khoury). 5-6th records. 30+ were seen daily on several occasions during August 2021 (F.Khoury). Apparently regular but under-recorded during summer.

Wood pigeon Columba palumbus

One, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 14 September 2020 (H. Hreisha). 5th record.

Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei

One adult, Azraq, 7 July 2021 (H. Hreisha). 4th record.

Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei

One adult male and at least three juveniles, N Karamah, Jordan Valley, 8 July 2021 (F.Khoury, M. Alshamlih, A. Dheib). 5th record, and first confirmed breeding record in Jordan.

Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aygyptius

Two, Azraq Reserve, 2 July 2021 (H. Hreisha). Around 9th record.

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps

One adult male, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 2 May 2021 (F. Rahahleh). 2nd record.

Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe

One in Aqaba, 23 February 2021 (F. Rahahleh). 6th record.

Kurdish Wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna

One adult male, south of Madaba, 8 November 2020 (F. Khoury). 7th record.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus

One, Disi, 13 October 2020 (A. Abdelhadi). 4th record.

Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike Lanius isabellinus

One adult male, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 13 April 2021 (H. Hreisha). 3rd record after taxonomic separation.

Fares Khoury, JBRC Secretary, 25 August 2021.

The following records have been accepted by the JBRC:


Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygemeus
One adult, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 28 April 2019 (R. Keilani). 5th record (excluding old records before 2000).

Striated Heron Butorides striata 
One juvenile at Ayla Project, Aqaba, 1 November 2019 (F. Rahahleh). Regular in Aqaba, but rarely seen away from Aqaba coast.

Black (Cinereous) vulture Aegypius monachus
One, immature, Azraq Reserve, 8 November 2019 (H. Hreisha). 9th confirmed record.

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga
One, 1cy, South Shuna, Jordan Valley, 17 November 2017 (F. Khoury). 11th Record.

Common Buzzard (nominate ssp.) Buteo (buteo) buteo
One, Aqaba, 5 March 2017, (F. Rahahleh). 9th record.

Common Buzzard (nominate ssp.) Buteo (buteo) buteo
One, South Shuna, Jordan Valley, 17th November 2017 (F. Khoury). 10th record.

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
One adult male, Aqaba, 26 April 2020 (X. Horn). 8th record. All previous records also in Aqaba where it has been regular in the last three years.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
One adult, South of Amman, 29th September 20019 (apparently stayed there for several months; F. Khoury). 11th record

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
One 2cy, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 12 March 2020 (M. McGovern, F. Rahahleh). 12th confirmed record.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
One at Ayla Resort – Aqaba, 10 February 2020 (F. Rahahleh). Rarely recorded in last two decades.

White cheeked Tern Sterna repressa
At least 60, including juveniles, Aqaba coast near Marine Station, 6th September 2017; 25 same site 10th September 2018 (F. Khoury). 3rd and 4th records.

Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe
One in Aqaba, 12 April 2019 (K. Isaksen, K. Eie, O. Syvertsen). 5th record.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
One, Burqu’, 28 September 2019 (V. Motteau). 2nd record.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
One at Aqaba, 1 December 2019 (R. Heinonen). 3rd record.

Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike Lanius isabellinus
One, adult male, Azraq Reserve, 28 December 2019 (H. Hreisha). 2nd record after taxonomic separation.

Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus
One adult male, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 3 May 2020 (H. Hreisha). 9th record.

The following has not been accepted:

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anathetus, 32, Aqaba 20 August 2019.

Fares Khoury, JBRC Secretary, 29 May 2020.


Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, one adult male (eclipse), Azraq Wetland Reserve, 3 November 2018 (N. Hamidan). Around 8th record for Jordan.

Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus, one 1st cy, Aqaba (Ayla Oasis Project), 15 September 2018 (F. Rahahleh). Around 3rd record (excluding old records before 2000).

Pygmy Cormorant P. pygmeus, one adult, Aqaba (Bird Observatory), 4 April 2019 (F. Rahahleh). 4th record (excluding old records before 2000).

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus, four (+), including adult males and females and one 1st winter female, Aqaba (Bird Observatory), 11 December 2018 (D. Drukker). These birds apparently stayed for several months. 5th record.

Crested Honey Buzzard P. ptilorhyncus, one adult female, Aqaba (Bird Observatory), 10 March 2019 (J. Szabó) . 6th record.

Crested Honey Buzzard P. ptilorhyncus, one adult female, Aqaba (Bird Observatory), 6 April 2019 (F. Khoury). 7th record.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus, one 1st cy, near Al Jafr, 6 October 2018 (F. Khoury). 10th confirmed record.

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii, four adult birds, Aqaba (Bird Observatory), 20 November 2018 (F. Rahahleh). Around 5th confirmed record.

The following has not been accepted:

Peregrine Falco peregrinus, Al-Jafr, 12 October 2018.

Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka, Burqu, 2 April 2019.

Fares Khoury, JBRC Secretary, September 2019


Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, one at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 20 February 2018 (Feras Rahahleh). Third record for Jordan. This bird was present till Sep. 2018.

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus, one adult female, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 5 May 2018 (Fares Khoury). Fourth confirmed record; previous records also from Aqaba.

Red Avadavat Amandava amandava, one near the international Airport, eastof Madaba, April 2017 and April 2018, seen on several occasions (Fares Khoury).First record; probably escapee.  

The following has not been accepted:

Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae, Al-Hafayer area, Aqaba,8 April 2018

Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae, Tala Bay, Aqaba, 9 April2018

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus, one Immaturemale (2cy), Aqaba Bird Observatory, 11 March 2018

Crested Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus, Three adults(2mm 1f), Aqaba Bird Observatory, 10 April 2018

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), September 2018


Pygmy cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus , 60 birds at Wadi Arab Dam, Jordan Valley, 6th July 2016 (F. Khoury, R. Massis) first record since nearly 2 decades.

Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, 17, north of Azraq, 21 January 2017 (R. Isaksson), 12th record.

Red breasted Merganser Mergus serratror, 1 female, Kafrein Dam, Jordan Valley,  9 – 12th December 2016 (F. Khoury, R. Massis R. Al-Khatib, O. Rabayah) First for Jordan.

Striated Heron Butorides striata, 1 juv, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 12 November 2016 (F. Rahahleh). First for this site; previous records mainly from the Aqaba coast.

Black Vulture Aegypius monachus, 1 immature, Mudawwara 19 January 2017 (R. Isaksson). Around 8th record.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo buteo, two birds at Madaba 15th November 2016, one staying till 7 March 2017; 1 bird Jordan Valley (Kafrein) 13 December 2016 (F. Khoury). Second – fourth records of nominate subspecies.

Black winged Kite Elanus caeruleus,  two birds, Azraq & Shoumari, 13 January 2017 (F. Khoury, R. Massis); one near Madaba, 8-15 November 2016 (F. Khoury);  one,  Jordan Valley, 13 November and 9 December 2016 (F. Khoury, R. Massis); two at Khirbet Samra, 20 November 2016 (M. Al-Shamlih). 

9th– 13th  record.

Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides, 1 adult Aqaba, 20 May 2017 (F. Rahahleh). 2nd confirmed record after taxonomic separation.

Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike Lanius isabellinus, 1 adult, 29-30 April 2017; Airport area, East of Madaba (F. Khoury).  First confirmed record after taxonomic separation.

Redwing Turdus iliacus, one south of Aqaba, 25 November 2016 (A. Riad). 6th record.

The following has not been accepted:

Terek sandpiperXenus cinereus, two, 5 December 2016; Aqaba Bird Observatory

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), November 2017


Striated Heron Buorides striata, one juvenile (+ further sightings of species) at Aqaba coast, 15th November 2014 (A. Riad). One adult Ghor Rama, Jordan Valley 18th December 2015 (F. Khoury). 2nd record away from Aqaba.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo buteo, one adult at Madaba, 14th November 2015 – 5th March 2016 (F. Khoury, R. Massis). First confirmed record of buteo subspecies.

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptylorhinchus, two at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 19th April 2015 (S. Pinder). 2nd – 3d records for Jordan, just 1 week after 1st (see batch 18).

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, one adult, Aqaba, 1st September, 2015 (F. Rahahleh); one adult at Madaba, 14th November 2015 (F.Khoury); one 1st yr Ghor Rama + one adult S. Shuna, 8th January 2016 (F. Khoury, R. Massis, R. Salim, A. Abdelhadi); one adult, Shaumari Reserve, 5th February 2016 (A. Abdelhadi); one central Jordan Valley 11th May 2016 (F.Khoury). 3rd – 8th records.

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, one adult (subspecies madagascariensis), Aqaba coast, 23 July 2015 (F. Rahahleh). 4th record.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, fourteen at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 18th March 2016 (F. Rahahleh). 11th record.

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, one adult, Aqaba, 30th December 2014 (A. Riad). 2nd record.

Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis, two, Aqaba coast, 18th August 2015 (F. Rahahleh). 2nd record.

The following has not been accepted:

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Aqaba, 25th November 2015.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), July 2016.


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptylorhinchus, one adult at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 12 April 2015 (J. Sykes, D. Dridi, A. Mustafa, A. Dodd,J. & A. Luker, A. Sinclair, R. A. Edwards). 1st confirmed record for Jordan.

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, three (one adult, two juveniles), Jordan Valley, 25 June 2015 (F. Khoury, R. Massis). 2nd record.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, two at Aqaba Bird Observatory 26 April 2015 , one at Aqaba Bird Observatory 30 May 2015 (F. Rahahleh). 9th – 10 records.

Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus, one adult at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 23 June 2015 (F. Rahahleh). 7th record.

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis, 26+ birds at 6 sites, Amman-Dead Sea Road, Na’ur, Wadi Bahhath, Dead Sea Hotel area, 3 April – 30 May 2015 (F. Khoury, R. Massis). 5th – 16th record.

Rustic Bunting, Emberiza rustica, one (1st yr) at Petra, 30 November 2014 (O. Jonsson, K. Jonsson, E. Sivencrona, H, Sivencrona). 2nd record.

The following has not been accepted:

Ruppell’s Vulture Gyps rueppellii, one Dana 12 May 2014.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), September 2015.


Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, one adult, Aqaba, 24th March 2013 (G. Wichmann and G. Zeyringer), 1st confirmed record in Jordan.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres, one, Aqaba Bird observatory, April 10th 2014, (F. Rahahleh); perhaps 1st for a decade.

Common Mynah Acridotheres tristris, two NE of Kafrein / Jordan Valley, 30th July 2014, 3 birds at same site seen one month later by same observers (F. Khoury); 5th record in Jordan, 4th record was of a pair at Kafrein (photographed by M. Asfour) around April 2014, and several sightings by various observers of pair at QAI Airport during 2014 – see batch 16.

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodjonsi, three, Aqaba palm beach, 17th  December 2013 (F. Rahahleh) 5th record for Jordan.

Black Bushchat Cercotrichas podobe, one at Aqaba Moevenpick resort / Tala Bay, 12th April 2014 (E. Hirschfeld); 4th country record.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary) December 2014.


Striated Heron Buorides striata, one, 1cy, Aqaba, 5 October 2008 (T Haraldson). 4th record. Three previous records in Aqaba (1990-1992, I. Andrews); this (4th) record precedes the record in Azraq in 2012, which becomes 5th record (see batch 15).

Little Gull Larus minutus, one, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 24 March 2000 (Gabor Wichmann). 7th record, and preceding record from same locality in 2006 (becomes 8th record).

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus,one, Dana 21 March 2000 (G. Wichmann, U. Lindinger, W. Lindinger, F. Khoury). 5th record, most records from same locality.

Common Mynah Acridotheres tristris,two, W Amman 17 April 2013 (S Shama, F Khoruy). 1st confirmed record in Jordan; introduced species probably originating from escapees.

Common Myna A. tristris,one (photo of shot bird, unknown locality), June 2013. 2nd record.

Common Mynah A. tristris,Int Airport south of Amman, 12 August 2013 (L Al-Moghrabi). 3rd record.

The following has not been accepted:

Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax, one, Dana 21 March 2000.

Black-winged kite Elanus caeruleus, one, Aqaba, 21 March 2013.

Little Gull Larus minutus, two, Qa Khanna, 4 March 2001.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary) February 2014.

BATCH 15 – addition

Striated Heron Butorides striata,one, first winter, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 5-13 November 2012 (T Qaneer, G Butcher, O Abed). Second record for Jordan, the first was in Aqaba in 1992.


Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea,one at at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 2 April 2011. (K Mild); Around 6th record since 2000 and 11th for Jordan.

Egyptian Goose Alopochen aygyptiacus, one immature at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 19th December 2011 (F Rahahleh); first record for Jordan; this bird stayed at least until February 2012.

Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus,one at Burqu’, 10th  February 2005 (K Omari, L Moghrabi, N Hamidan, M Amano); 2nd record.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, one at Azraq mudflats, 23rd April 2004 (K Omari, C Hewson, A Halah, L Moghrabi); perhaps the first for a decade.

Europen Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria,one  at Mudawwara, 16th December 2003 (P Ellis, A Halah, K Omari); 2nd record.

Armenian Gull Larus armenicus, two in Aqaba Bird Observatory, on 2 April 2011 (K Mild, T Pettersson). This species (previously a subspecies of Yellow-legged Gull) appears to be regular in small numbers at Aqaba in winter and spring; there are over 12 confirmed records for Jordan.

Heuglin’s Gull Larus fuscus heuglini, five adults at Aqaba Bird Observatory, 2 April 2011 (K Mild, T Pettersson); the Heuglin’s Gull, a subspecies of lesser black-backed gull is possibly a regular winter visitor and spring migrant at  Aqaba.

Nubian Nightjar Caprimulgus nubicus, one heard at Tassan springs, and 5 at Fifa, 20-21 March 2011. (K Mild, T Pettersson, P Waern ). Around 7th confirmed record; a survey in spring 2012 confirmed the presence of a small population at Fifa.

Blyth’s Pipit Anthus glodweskii,one 23 March 2011, Mudawwara agricultural area  (K Mild, T Pettersson, P Waern );  first record for Jordan.

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgonsi, one at Aqaba palm beach, 26 March 2011 (P Waern).; 4th record, all were in Aqaba, last 3 at the palm beach.

Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola, one at Azraq wetland reserve, 1 May 2007 (J Azar); first record for Jordan.

The following has not been accepted:

Blyth’s Warbler Acrocephalus dumoterum, Azraq, 28 April 2007.

Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum, Fujeij, 7 May 2011.

Fares Khoury (JBRC secretary), December 2012.


Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, one, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 11 January 2011 (F Rahahleh); around 10th record.

Sociable Plover Vanellus gregarius, two, Aqaba Bird Observatory, 5 January 2011 (F Rahahleh); around 5th record.

Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe, one, Marine Science Station, Aqaba, 29 March 2011 (F Rahahleh); 3rd record.

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgonsi, one, Aqaba palm beach, 18 November 2009 (F Khoury, F Rahahleh); 3rd record.

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) – formerly subspecies of Isabelline shrike, one, Shaumari Reserve, 30 May 2011 (F Khoury, Y Shishani, L Azzam, T Qaneer); first confirmed record after taxonomic seperation.

Yellow-throated Sparrow Gymornis xanthocollis,two (male and female), Shaumari, 1 June 2011 (F Khoury, L Azzam, T Qaneer, Y Shishani)- this is a new record for Jordan (see Sandgrouse 34, 2012).

The following has not been accepted:

Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus, Desert Highway, Rajif junction, near Ma’an, 1 March 2011.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), September 2011


White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons, one, Khirbet As-Samra waste water plant. 15th  February 2010. (F Khoury, M. Dheissat); 4th record.

Sociable Plover  Vanellus gregaria, two, Queen Alia Airport, south of Amman, 17th November 2009. (Fkhoury, M. Dheissat); 4th record.

Common Rose finch Caprodacus erythricus, one, Bait Ali camp, Wadi rum, 28th September 2009 (N. Martinez); 5th record for Jordan.

The following has not been accepted:

Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens, Aqaba 30 December 2009.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2011


Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens japonicus, adult, winter plumage, Aqaba, Palm beach area, 7th January 2008 (J. Tenovuo). A new species for Jordan.

Oriental Sky lark Alauda gulgula,one, palm beach area, 31st December 2007-3rd January 2008 (C. Monnerat); First confirmed record for Jordan.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2009


Red-billed Tropic Birds Phaethon aethureus,two, Aqaba, 3rd  May 2006 (R. Beunen, M. Louwsma), 2nd record.

Bean Goose  Anser fabilis (ssp rosicus), one, Aqaba water treatment plant (Aqaba Bird Observatory), 12th  February 2007 (K. Nishimura, J. Azar); first record.

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea,adult, Aqaba water treatment plant (Aqaba Bird Observatory), 7th  December 2005-15th  January 2006. (J. Azar, I. Hasani, K. Nishimura); the same observers also recorded this species during January – February 2005 at Qa Azraq and Qatraneh Dam.

Red-crested Porchard Aythya ferina,one, Al-Karamah Dam, Jordan Valley, 3rd  February 2006 (J. Azar); around 6th record.

Demoiselle Crane Grus vigro, one, Al-Mudawarah, 7th October, 2006 (K. Nishimura, J. Azar); 2nd record.

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius, one in winter plumage, Qa Azraq, 29-30th  April 2006 (P. Ellis).; A new species for Jordan.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, a group of five, Aqaba water treatment plant (ABO), 4th  April 2006 (K. Nishimura); 8th record.

Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni, two, Azraq, 22nd  April 2006  (R. Beunen, M. Louwsma); 9th record.

Little Gull Larus minutus, one, first winter, Aqaba water treatment plant (ABO), 4th  April 2006. (K. Nishimura); around 7th record.

Olive tree warbler Hippolais olivetorum, one, Aqaba, 2nd  May 2006: (R. Beunen, M. Louwsma); around 10th record.

Olive-backed Pipit  Anthus hodgsoni, one, Aqaba, 18th  February 2006 (I. Andrews). 2nd record (first seen from within Jordan and accepted by JBRC).

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2007


Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus, one, unidentified subspecies, Aqaba, 16th January 2005 (H. Dufourny).

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, one, Qa Azraq, 20th January 2005 (H. Dufourny); a new species to Jordan.

Wood Pigeon Columba polumbus, five, Dibbeen, 7-8th January 2005 (F.Khoury); Around 4th record.

Wood Pigeon Columba polumbus,one, Sweimeh, 27th March 2005 (K. Hansen, M. Hansen, C. Nielsen, A. Kristensen); 5th record.

The following has not been accepted:

Booted Warbler, Aqaba,7th April, 2005.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2005


Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii, four together in acacia habitat, between Qatar and Rahma/Wadi Araba, 20th October 2003 (M. al-Shamlih).

Second record in Jordan (several records in Jordan- seen from across the border)

The following records have not been accepted:

Common Mynah, 5+, Kafrein, 30 July 2004.       

Pied Wheatear, imm. female, Dana 18th Spetember 2004.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2004


Booted Warbler Hippolais calligata,adult, Azraq rest house, 20th  September 2003 (I. Torres, K. de Dios, J. Cañada); 7th  record.

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus,two in summer plumage, Qa Azraq, 18th April 2004 (P. Ellis); 2nd record for Jordan.

Whimbrel Numenius phaepus, one, Qa’ Azraq, 22nd  April 2004 (P. Ellis).

Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea, male, Azraq lodge, 15th April 2004 (P.Ellis); around 10th record.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach, one, Aqaba shore gardens, 11-13th April 2004, (H. Dufourny), 1st record in Jordan.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2004


Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe, one, Nawatif/Dana, 7th May 2002 (A. Grieve), 1st record in Jordan (see Sandgrouse 26(2), 2003).

Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe, one, Wadi Araba 14km north of Aqaba, 30th May (F. Khoury), 2nd record in Jordan (see Sandgrouse 26(2), 2003).

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos, adult, Aqaba sewage plant 10-11th September 2002, (Alan J Leitch, D. Fairhurst, L. Moghrabi), 1st record in Jordan.

Bank Mynah Acridotheres ginginianus,four, apparently breeding, Sweimeh, 26th April – 3rd May 2003. (F.Khoury, M. al-Shamlih). 2nd record.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary), 2003 


Black Vulture Aegypius monachus,first-year, photographed, 100 km south of Ruwayshid, 1st January 2003 (Nashat A. Hamidan et al.) About 6th record.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia,one, trapped, near Zarqa, 10th May 2002 (Dr Fares Khoury, M. Goc & A. Obeiyat); 3rd record for Jordan.

Scarlet (Common) Roseinch Carpodacus erythrinus,two singles (one second-year, probably female and one female, probably adult), trapped, near Zarqa, 21st and 23rd May 2002 (Dr Fares Khoury, A. Obeiyat); 3rd and 4th record.

The following records have not been accepted:

Pied Wheatear, female, Aqaba, 28th April 2002.

Fares Khoury (JBRC Secretary) Apr 2003


Liechtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichstensteinii, pair, south of Rahma, 30th March 2001 (Marc Duquet et al.); A new species for Jordan (at least the first actually seen in Jordan).

Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris, nine different birds, near Zarqa, between 3rd September and 2nd October 2001 (Dr Fares Khoury, Prof P Busse); 4 – 13th record.

Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina,immature, near Zarqa, 13th September 2001 (Dr Fares Khoury, Prof P Busse); 7th record.

River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis,three different birds, near Zarqa, 14th September, 6th & 14th October 2001 (Dr Fares Khoury, Prof P Busse), 8-10th record.

The following records have not been accepted:

Klass’s Cuckoo, 1, Wadi Rum, 7th March 2001.

Ian J. Andrews (JBRC Secretary) Jan 2003

BATCH 4 addition

Siberian White Crane Grus leucogeranus, three adults, Qa Khanna, 2nd February 2001 (N.A. Hamidan et al.).


Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, twelve, first-winters, Qa al Azraq, 29th November 2000 to 4th February 2001 (P.M. Ellis et al.); Four, two adults, one immature and one first-winter, Qa Khanna, 1st December 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K. Al Omari, A. El Halah).

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, four, Qa al Azraq, 3rd December 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K. Al Omari, A. El Halah).

Five, Aqaba sewage works, 5th December 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K. Al Omari, A. El Halah).

Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, two, winter plumage, Qa al Azraq, 3rd December 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K. Al Omari, A. El Halah); This is a new species for Jordan.

Sociable Plover Chettusia gregaria,two, adults in winter plumage, Aqaba sewage works, 5th December 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K. Al Omari, A. El Halah).

Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus, a first-summer male, Wadi Rum, 25th to 26th March 2000 (H. Dufoury, B. Gauquie).

Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica, a first-winter?, Aqaba sewage works, 8th November 2000 (Dr G. Tebb); This is a new species for Jordan.

The following records have not been accepted:

Black Vulture, 1 adult, Wadi Dhahek, 16th October 2000.

Sociable Plover, 1 first-year, Aqaba sewage works, 15th November 2000.

Redwing, 1, Azraq Wetland Reserve, 29th November 2000.

Ian J. Andrews (JBRC Secretary) Sept 2001


Pink-backed Pelican Pelicanus rufescens,one, first-summer, Aqaba sewage works 28 Apr, 6-7 May 2000 (F. Khoury, H. Shirihai et al.). First record for Jordan. This bird also visited Eilat (Israel) between 24 Apr and 13 Jul, where it represented the 7th Israeli record. It was also seen in Aqaba from Eilat on 24 Apr and several other occasions. See Sandgrouse 22(2): 127-130.

Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis, one, first-summer female, Aqaba sewage works 6 May 2000 (P.M. Ellis, K.D. Shaw). First record for Jordan. An account of this record will be published in Sandgrouse.

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 16 Aqaba sewage works 27 Apr 2000 (I.J. Andrews et al.). 5th record, and the first since 1987.

Unidentified golden plover sp. Pluvialis sp., one Aqaba sewage works 26-27 Apr 2000 (I.J. Andrews et al.). Only Pacific Golden Plover is currently on the Jordan List.

Nubian Nightjar Caprimulgus nubicus,one lower Wadi Dana 7 Dec 1998 (A. Parker). One, heard only, Tassan springs 12/13 Mar 2000 (F. Khoury).

These two records, the 4th and 5th for Jordan, were both within the same general area. The previous three were all in 1963. See also Sandgrouse 21(1): 20 for 1980s records in land now in Jordan.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris,one Dana guesthouse 26 Feb 2000 (R.I. Bashford et al.). The second record for Jordan. The first record, of two birds in 1995, was also at Dana (Sandgrouse 18(2): 64).

Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna,one Jabal Thulaythuwat 5 Nov 1999 (F. Khoury). The 5th record. Previous records were in 1955, 1975, 1994 and 1997.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus,one, female, Dana guesthouse 13-14 Dec 1998 (A. Parker). The 4th record. Previous records were in 1986, 1995 and 1998. With winter records of up to 10 birds in high ground at Dana, this area may be a regular wintering area for small numbers of Ring Ouzels.

Redwing Turdus iliacus,two Dana terraces 13 Dec 1998 (A. Parker). The 5th record for Jordan. Previous records were in 1979, 1994, 1996 and 1998.

Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina,one Dead Sea 5 May 2000 (K.D. Shaw, P.M. Ellis). The 6th record. The five previous records were all at Azraq.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus,two Azraq resthouse 13-14 Feb 1999 (F. Khoury). The first two records (1989 and 1990) were in the Northern Highlands. The above record is probably linked to the 3rd record, at Azraq resthouse in Dec 1998 (see below), and relates to up to two birds there in the 1998/99 winter.

Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus,one, male, Shaumari 16 Dec 1998 (A. Parker). Accepted as showing the characters of the race isabellinus (=speculigerus). This is the first record of this race to be recorded in Jordan.

Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus,one, male, in song, Dana terraces 27 Nov 1998, photographed (A. Parker). The 3rd record. The two previous records were both in 1996. This record predates the Dec 1998 record (see below), which now becomes the 4th record.

The following records have not been accepted:

Black Vulture, 2, Wadi Dana, 13 Dec 1998.

Striated Scops Owl, 1, lower Wadi Dana, 30 Nov 1998.

Pacific Golden Plover, Aqaba sewage works, 26-27 Apr 2000 (accepted as golden plover sp.).

Pied Wheatear, 1, Shaumari, 30 Oct 1999.

Ian J. Andrews (JBRC Secretary) Mar 2001


Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos, one Shaumari 24 Apr 1965 (D.I.M. Wallace, I.J. Ferguson-Lees, G.R. Shannon). Accepted as showing the characters of the central Asian race hafizi.

This is the first record of this race to be recorded in Jordan.

In line with the Association of European Rarities Committees’ recommendation that “Every rarities committee should check the old exceptional records. In particular, reports of difficult species for which new identification criteria have been established should be reconsidered”, JBRC has looked at the following previously-published records.

The following records have not been accepted:

Slender-billed Curlew, 1, Azraq, 4 May 1965.

Aquatic Warbler, 1, Azraq, 3 May 1965.

Plain Leaf Warbler, 1, Azraq, 18 Apr 1963.

These records represented the only records of these species in Jordan, and the species are now removed from the Jordanian List.

The following record is pended, awaiting further research:

Intermediate (Yellow-billed) Egret, 1, As Safi, 23 Apr 1963.

Ian J. Andrews (JBRC Secretary) Oct 2000


Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga,two Azraq 31 Dec 1998 (L. Linnartz and E. Nieuwdorp). 7th record.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio,one Azraq 3-27 April 1999, photographed (D. Hill, T.M. Melling et al.). The only previous record was one seen on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River, but only seen from Israel, in 1989.

Red-wattled Plover Vanellus indicus,one Azraq 28 April 1999, photographed (T.M. Melling), possibly present 26 Apr – 5 May. A first for Jordan.

Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius, up to 6 Azraq 31 Mar – 28 April 1999 (T.M. Melling et al.).

Only four previous records, but one of these was a nest found at Azraq (1969). The true status of this species in Jordan remains to be clarified.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus,two first-winter birds, probably of the race T. t. alpestris, Dana 6 Dec 1998, photographed (A. Wassink and R. Pop); one on 29 Dec 1998 (L. Linnartz and E. Nieuwdorp).

There are only two previous records for Jordan.

Redwing Turdus iliacus,one Wadi al Butm 1 Dec 1998 (A. Wassink and R. Pop). Fourth record for Jordan – the others were in 1979, 1994 and 1996.

River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis,one Azraq 16 Apr 1999, trapped and photographed (T.M. Melling et al.). About the seventh record.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus,one Azraq resthouse 1-3 Dec 1998 (A. Wassink and R. Pop). Third Jordanian record.

Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus,one Petra 14 Feb 1996 (J. Herring and H. Buschbeck). This record predates, by one week, the first published record for Jordan (near Al Mansura 21 Feb 1996 – Sandgrouse 19(1), 68), and therefore becomes the first. The two localities are not far apart and in approximately the same high altitude habitat.

Adult Dana 29 Dec 1998 (L. Linnartz and E. Nieuwdorp). Third record for Jordan.

Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostris,two (male and female) Dana 29 Dec 1998 (L. Linnartz and E. Nieuwdorp). A first for Jordan.

Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalus,female Dana 29 Dec 1998 (L. Linnartz and E. Nieuwdorp). Third Jordan record – the others being in 1995 and 1997.

The following records have not been accepted:

Yellow-billed Black Kite, 2, Aqaba, 27 Dec 1998.

Sooty Gull, Aqaba, 3 Jan 1999.

Audouin’s Gull, Aqaba, 22 Dec 1998.

Paddyfield Warbler, Aqaba, 23 Dec 1998.

Marsh Warbler, Aqaba, 23 Dec 1998.

Goldcrest, Dibbin, 2 Jan 1999.

Steppe Grey Shrike, Wadi Rum, 25 Dec 1998.

Mourning Wheatear (O.l. persica), near As Safawi, 2 Dec 1998.

Cinereous Bunting, 12, Dana, 29 Dec 1998.

Ian J. Andrews (JBRC Secretary) Jan 2000

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