Safa Park was one
of the main migration hotspots in Dubai.
The park is now a shadow of its pre-1990 former self, when it was one of the few
wooded areas in Dubai and the best site in the country for passerine migrants.
These days the Dubai area has a lot of greenery, but the park can still be alive
with migrants in spring and autumn.
Update October 2014; the
northern half of the park is closed off and watering of the grass has stopped.
It will give way to the new canal project with massive construction underway.
The two lakes are about to disappear.
Even with this massive destruction, a Forest Wagtail was seen end-October and
the wintering Masked Shrike is back. Rarities like Asian Koel, European Robin,
European Siskin and Brambling still recorded winter/spring 2015, so still worth
This is how the park will look like in 2015/16: click on Forum
Directions and access:
Safa Park is easily located along Al Wasl Road, with the main entrance opposite
of HSBC Bank. This entrance should remain open during the 2014-2016 construction
project (see above).
Safa park is open every day from 08:00 - 22:00, with no Ladies Day or Family Day
restrictions. Entrance fee is AED 3/-
Note: not all entrances are open at all times; the Al Wasl entrance seems to be
the safest bet.
cover the area thouroughly, plan to spend 2-4 hours here.
best approach seems to be to arrive around 8am at the western gate along Al Wasl
Road, walk along the northern grassland and trees (sadly
closed off since Oct 2014),
making your way to the northern part of the 'forest' (25.184835 , 55.246355).
Slowly comb this part of the forest for pipits, wagtails, warblers and
flycatchers, then circle the fence of the 'bird sanctuary' pond (25.185017 ,
55.249381) , check the trees edging the grass to the east of the ponds
(25.184260 , 55.250393) for wintering Masked Shrike, work your way slowly back
through the southern part of the forest, then back towards Al Wasl Road.
species (excluding escapes)
have been recorded as of March 2015.
Introduced birds are common, including Shikra, Alexandrine Parakeet (fairly
common), Rose-ringed Parakeet (abundant), Plum-headed Parakeet (uncommon),
Blossom-headed Parakeet (status unclear), Pied Myna and rarely Brahminy
Ortolan Buntings are regular in spring on the grassy areas, and Masked Shrike
winters most years east of the fenced-in ponds.
Click here for
a short Safa Park story from Charlie Moores in 2005.
Rarities have included:
Greater White-fronted Goose
- Ruddy Shelduck
- Eleonora's Falcon (22.04.2004) - a UAE first!
- White-breasted Waterhen
- Eurasian Woodcock
- Mediterranean Gull
- Common Wood Pigeon
- Asian Koel
- Pied Kingfisher
- Black-throated Thrush
- Dusky Thrush
- Blyth's Reed Warbler
- Dusky Warbler
- Yellow-browed Warbler
- Hume's Leaf Warbler
- Red-flanked Bluetail (07.12.2008 - 12.03.2009) - a UAE first and first for
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow
- Forest Wagtail (the only place outside Abu Dhabi this species is recorded with
some regularity, as late as Oct 2014)
- Olive-backed Pipit