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Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis ©Nigel Blake Website

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island country in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway, which officially opened on 25 November 1986. Qatar is to the south across the Gulf of Bahrain. The planned Qatar–Bahrain Friendship Bridge will link Bahrain to Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.

Bahrain is a generally flat and arid archipelago, consisting of a low desert plain rising gently to a low central escarpment, in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia. The highest point is the 122 m (400 ft) Jabal ad Dukhan. Bahrain has a total area of 665 km2 (257 sq mi), which is slightly larger than the Isle of Man, though it is smaller than the nearby King Fahd International Airport near Dammam, Saudi Arabia (780 km2 (301 sq mi)). As an archipelago of thirty-three islands, Bahrain does not share a land boundary with another country but does have a 161 km (100 mi) coastline and claims a further 22 km (12 nmi) of territorial sea and a 24 km (13 nmi) contiguous zone. Bahrain's largest islands are: Bahrain Island, Muharraq Island, Umm an Nasan, and Sitrah. Bahrain has mild winters and very hot, humid summers.

Bahrain's natural resources include large quantities of oil and natural gas as well as fish stocks. Arable land constitutes only 2.82%[66] of the total area. Desert constitutes 92% of Bahrain, and periodic droughts and dust storms are the main natural hazards for Bahrainis. Environmental issues facing Bahrain include desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, distribution stations, and illegal land reclamation at places such as Tubli Bay. The agricultural and domestic sectors' over-utilization of the Dammam Aquifer, the principal aquifer in Bahrain, has led to its salinization by adjacent brackish and saline water bodies.

Bahrain is an Island located in west to the mainland of Saudi Arabia. Jabal ad Dukhan is the highest point in Bahrain with hills up to 134 m (440 ft) above sea level. The Zagros hills in Iraq cause low level winds to be directed to the Bahrain Island and create a pressure pattern. The dust bowls from Iraq and Saudi Arabia make fine dust particles easily transported by northwesterly winds which cause visibility reductions in the months of June and July. The summer is very hot since the Gulf waters provide low levels of moisture supply. Seas around Bahrain are very shallow, heat up quickly in the summer, and produce high humidity, especially in the summer nights. In those periods, summer temperatures may reach about 35 °C (95 °F). Rainfall in Bahrain is minimal and irregular. Most rainfalls occur in the winter season, recorded maximum of 70.8 mm (7.1 cm).



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 333

National Bird: White-cheeked (White-eared) Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis



WebBirder Checklist

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Useful Reading

Birds in Bahrain

Erik Hirschfeld, Hans Larsson (Illustrator); Bill Morton (Illustrator) Paperback (July 1995) Hobby Publications

ISBN: 1872839037

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Bahrain

by Tom Nightingale and Mike Hill, Immel Publishing 1993

Birds of Southern Arabia

Dave Robinson Paperback (December 1992) Motivate Publishing

ISBN: 1873544375

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Middle East

R.F. Porter, S. Christensen, P. Schiermacker-Hansen Hardcover - 350 pages (September 1996) T & AD Poyser (UK)

ISBN: 0856610763

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Breeding Birds of Hawar

- Results of the 1998 Survey. By Howard King Published by the Ministry of Housing Bahrain 29.12.1999 Hard cover - colour illustrations ISBN: 9990111006

Guides & Tour Operators

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Tour Operator

The small farms often attract numerous visitors, including a few Oriental Skylarks, while Mourning Wheatears frequent the rocky interior. Other new birds for the tour may include Common Quail, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Eurasian Skylark, Water Pipit, White-eared Bulbul, and Bluethroat. However, our main purpose in coming to Bahrain is to see the enigmatic Grey Hypocolius (usually treated as a monotypic family, Hypocolidae)…

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [10 October] - Ray O'Reilly


In total we saw 240 bird species during our tour, the highlight for most being fine views of Grey Hypocolius – we saw 75 birds and enjoyed close studies of both males and females. Indeed one of the themes of the tour was the great views of an outstanding number of specialities, equalling last year’s record total of 56 Birdquest ‘diamond’ species…

2007 [11 November] - Mike Watson


Our fourth tour of Oman and Bahrain was another great success with a new record total of 253 species seen, plus another two heard. The tally included 56 Birdquest ‘diamond’ species, exactly the same as the last two years and a reflection of the high proportion of the region’s specialities we see on this tour…

2009 [11 November] - Mike Watson

Report PDF

Oman is now well established as the premier birding destination in the Middle East, with numerous regional specialities, a fantastic migration spectacle at one of the world’s true ornithological crossroads and some great seabirding, whilst Bahrain remains probably the most reliable place in the world to see both Grey Hypocolius and Egyptian Nightjar….

2011 [11 November] - Mike Watson

Report PDF

…However, target numero uno as always on this tour was Grey Hypocolius and although we missed it in Oman’s Empty Quarter (by five days), Bahrain roared back to its very best with an amazing pre-roost gathering of somewhere between 2-300 of these most beautifully elegant desert wanderers…

2014 [11 November] - Mike Watson - Oman & Bahrain

PDF Report

...The highlights this time were Oman’s special owls. We saw Omani Owl again, only the second tour group to see it, as well as Hume’s Owl, Pallid and Arabian Scops Owls and a new addition and potential split, Arabian Spotted Eagle-Owl. A great mixture of Middle Eastern specialities and sought-after migrants included: Arabian and Sand Partridges; Persian Shearwater; Jouanin’s Petrel; Masked Booby; Socotra Cormorant; Sooty and Barbary Falcons; Little Crake; Crab-Plover; White-tailed Lapwing; Long-toed Stint; Broad-billed Sandpiper; Sooty Gull; Saunders’s Tern; Spotted, Crowned and Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse...




Dr Saeed A Mohamed, PO Box 40266, Bahrain. +973 640 055 saeed@alreem.com


Al-Areen Wildlife Sanctuary


Satellite View

Al-Areen Wildlife Sanctuary was built between 1976 and 1979 at Al Markh, 5km south-west of Jebel al Dukhan, 2km from the Zallaq shoreline, located 26 1N 50 30E. The site is 2x4 km, varying from salt flats about 3m above sea level on the western side, to the higher elevation about 45m above sea level on the eastern side. The salt flats are mainly marine type sand to barren salt. The highest point, known as rimrock, is predominantly dolomite rock.

Wetlands of International Importance


Bahrain presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 6,810 hectares…

Other Links

Bahrain Bird Report


Bahrain is a good place to Bird and well worth a visit. It might not be in the class of Kenya or South America but it is small and compact. A hundred species in a day is easy in most seasons except high summer. It has good Hotels, Car hire and numerous eating holes. Most people speak good English and actually like visitors. So if you are going to Europe or moving the other way to India or the Far East consider a short stop over

Birds of Bahrain


A few photos…

Breeding Birds of Hawar


Extracts and contents of this book.



Last update May 2006…