On waking this morning with an Amstel hangover, I immediately noted that it was very sunny and fucking hot. It's the sort of intense dry heat that doesn't give you time to sweat - it all dries up immediately! Anyway, I had a little time to try and get out but not enough to really make the most of this business trip (no chance of getting to Petra or Wadi Rum). That's the trouble with business trips - never enough time to take in the sites and culture. A quick internet check revealed a place called the Al-Hussein National Park on the western side of Amman. A quick taxi ride and I was there. It was immediately clear that the park was not a green oasis with lots of birding potential, but an arid scrub plantation with straggly trees clinging on to life.
Lush green and pleasant land.
Mosque on the mound.
The desert equivalent of a conifer plantation.
The park is on a hillside giving excellent views of this side of Amman. Which is much the same as the other views of other sides of Amman!
Commonest birds here were, annoyingly, House Sparrow and Linnet. No warblers and very little else other than plenty of Turtle Doves. To be honest it was crap. Even a quick walk through Leicester would yield more species. The only bird interest really was good numbers of Crested Larks and Laughing Doves. Also loads of lizards - albeit fucking quick and jumpy lizards! Not too many butterflies and dayflying moths either.
Laughing Dove - just about.
Some sort of lizard.