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In recent years Aswan has become an essential part of the itinerary of any birder visiting Egypt. It is often visited on the way to or from Abu Simbel but deserves more than a brief stop.
Conveniently situated at the head of Lake Nasser and roughly midway between the popular birding areas of Abu Simbel and Luxor, Aswan also has historical interest in the Temple of Philae, now relocated on an island in the Nile.
This is an area of great scenic beauty, a wonderful climate and excellent birding and should not be missed.
Birds typical of the Nile Valley are common at Aswan and include Egyptian Goose, Osprey and Spur-winged Plover and terns including Gull-billed Tern and White-winged Tern. Pied Kingfisher is abundant as is Little Green Bee-eater. Passerines include Nile Valley Sunbird and Common Bulbul and a wide range of migrants occurs during passage periods.
Birds you can see here include:
Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great White Pelican, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Striated Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Egyptian Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Black Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Sooty Falcon, Barbary Falcon, Moorhen, African Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Senegal Thick-knee, Kittlitz's Sand Plover, White-tailed Plover, Spur-winged Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Namaqua Dove, Desert Eagle Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Pallid Swift, Pied Kingfisher, Little Green Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Rock Martin, Egyptian Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Common Bulbul, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Bluethroat, White-tailed Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Graceful Prinia, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Nile Valley Sunbird, Great Grey Shrike, Hooded Crow, Brown-necked Raven, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Kitchener's Island is an interesting spot with lush botanical gardens that attract a variety of birds including Nile Valley Sunbird.
Agilka Island, to the south, is now the home of the Temple of Philae and a popular tourist attrraction. It is also excellent for birds with White-tailed Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Graceful Prinia as well as passerine migrants.
Access and Facilities
Aswan can be reached by road, rail or air from Cairo and Luxor and there is plentiful accommodation. It is now possible to take 3-4 day cruises between Aswan and Abu Simbel giving superb opportunities to see the waterbirds of this beautiful area.
Content and images originally posted by Steve