Of course, even at the time I knew that this was slight hyperbole; 5 Isabelline Wheatears don’t really constitute spring. But out here in the UAE, 5 Pied Wheatears do, especially when backed up with 2 Woodchats. Those are the smartest two additions in the last 2 days and they are fractionally early; I usually have to wait ‘til the first weekend in March before I start bumping into them anywhere and everywhere. The arrival began a few days ago, but I was slow getting out of the blocks, being hindered by Shoebill in Rwanda, amongst others. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was handy enough too, although this may well have been lurking somewhere locally all winter. The back-up cast, including single Wryneck and Menetries’s Warbler, the same White-front lingering, plus good scores of Corn Buntings (6), Tawny Pips (5) and Pallas’s Gulls (15) were all welcome as well.
Total so far - 103 (58%)
Last addition – Woodchat Shrike (27 February )