Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Scenes from the Middle East

The sun has been shining which always gives me more energy. Today I walked 2 km (12 laps) on the track with my poles in 50 minutes, a slow pace, but progress nevertheless. My physiotherapist suggested swimming for exercise but I dislike going to pools in the winter and coming out into the cold while still damp.

My nephew Alex commented that damp cold winters without snow, such as the ones he experienced while attending university in Manchester England, are very bleak indeed. Mom has always admired the lovely complexions of British women. I have come to the conclusion that their complexions are saved from sun damage because of the many cloudy and rainy days they experience in that part of the world.

Well Alex is no longer in England but now lives in the UAE with his dad, my Sandland brother. The weather there is excessively hot for much of the year, but is pleasant in the winter.

SLB had some sympathy after reading my wintery post yesterday and sent me pictures he took this past weekend. He has his own blog, but is more likely to write about off road adventures in the desert than about birds. These pictures were taken near Sur, Oman. The map above is in the Danish language but does show Oman in relation to the United Arab Emirates. It is worthwhile to click on the pictures to enlarge the details.

SLB noticed a plover of some type near the water. It is in the foreground above, but the flamingoes, background buildings and the soccer game on the beach are more interesting. He got an excellent shot of the bird in the next picture though. Those waves are inviting and the water looks more therapeutic than a chlorinated municipal pool.

Perhaps a world class birder can identify this shorebird. It is not in any of my North American bird guides.

This looks like a fine destination for a winter holiday to me!

Thanks to Dawn (who has been motor homing full time for 7 years!!) for submitting proof that the bird is an oystercatcher . Ruthie J also named it correctly.


  1. I don't know what kind of shore bird he is but he is a beauty!

    Congrats on your polling. It actually sounds like a lot of fun. I don't blame you one bit about not wanting to swin in this weather. I wouldn't do it either.

  2. I would really miss winter, especially at Christmas time, but I could do with a shorter one -- say December and January and all done. Sound like a plan? You still go to church; maybe you could talk to those in authority. :)

  3. Hi Ruth,
    That warmer weather and sandy beaches sounds pretty good right now.
    I'm thinking the B & W bird is some sort of oystercatcher and I found some similar looking in Wikipedia, but not with the white neck stripe.....

  4. looks like some type of oystercatcher to me...
    what do you think?

  5. Kim- I am really enjoying the poles. My arms are used to them now and they get a good workout too.

    AC- Perhaps we should join forces in this request. I will ask for winter from Dec 21-Feb 21, with a gradual slide into spring by Mar 21.

    Ruthie- Is winter too long in MN too? You are right on the oystercatcher.

    Dawn- Thanks!! It is the exact bird. I shall add the info to the post.

  6. Anonymous9:46 pm GMT-5

    Pretty photos and I am glad someone identified the bird..It's good that you are making progress. I wouldn't like to swim and then come out into the cold either...

  7. The photo of the Oystercatcher is nice and the buildings in the background are interesting.-I would be fearful of living in the middle east by what I see on the news channels but then again news stations always show you the bad stuff.


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