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Abu Simbel - BirdForum Opus

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In the extreme south of Egypt and on the very edge of the Western Palaearctic, the birds of Abu Simbel are distinctly different from the rest of the region with a strong African element.

Although at the right time of year there are numerous European migrants passing through the area, it is the tropical African specialities that attract birders.


Notable Species

Birds such as Yellow-billed Stork, African Skimmer, Long-tailed Cormorant and Pink-backed Pelican can be seen here, and virtually nowhere else in the Region, at the northernmost limits of their range.

Other species seen along Nasser's shoreline include Senegal Thick-knee, Egyptian Goose and Kittlitz's Plover, Great White Pelicans occur on passage and in winter and there are many waders familiar to northern birders.

Birds more associated with deserts such as Brown-necked Raven and Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse can be seen in the area and African Collared Dove is found around the villages. Dead Sea Sparrow has been recorded.

More widespread species such as Egyptian Vulture, Lanner Falcon and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater are likely to be seen and Sooty Falcon breeds on cliffs not far from Abu Simbel and can be seen hunting over the lake at times. Lappet-faced Vulture has been seen several times to the north of Abu Simbel.


There is always the possibility of vagrants wandering north from Sudan and in recent years there have been reports of Goliath Heron, Bateleur Eagle, African Sacred Ibis, Lesser Moorhen and Abyssinian Roller.


Birds you can see here include:

Great White Pelican, Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Egyptian Goose, Black Kite, Lappet-faced Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Sooty Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Barbary Falcon, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Senegal Thick-knee, Kittlitz's Plover, Spur-winged Plover, White-tailed Plover, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern, White-winged Black Tern, African Skimmer, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, African Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Namaqua Dove, Desert Eagle Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, African Rock Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, White Wagtail, African Pied Wagtail, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, White-tailed Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Graceful Prinia, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Brown-necked Raven, Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow

Site Information

History and Use

Abu Simbel lies on the western shores of Lake Nasser, 280km south of Aswan and the famous Sun Temple, moved block by block in the 1960s to escape the rising waters of Lake Nasser, is an important tourist attraction.

Areas of Interest

The bushy areas near the temple and the cultivated land around the airport are good for smaller migrants. Boat trips on the lake can be arranged in the town for the more aquatic birds.

Access and Facilities

Although it can be reached by bus or taxi there is an airport and flying from Cairo, Luxor or Aswan is much easier. A day trip by bus from Aswan is possible, and popular with tourists but staying overnight is much more productive for birders.

Hotel accommodation can be found in Abu Simbel town and camping is possible.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

Abu Simbel on Googlemaps

Content and images originally posted by Steve