Shortly, after we have left the jetty in Abu Simbel, we drive along high reeds. The reed seems impenetrable. Nevertheless, the tall stalks of reeds are full of life. Filled with the sonorous rattling of the Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus), buzzed around by masses of Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) and Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), all of which presumably devour the myriads of flies and mosquitoes as food along the way. The one the other Rock Martin (Hirundo fuligula) appears as well in the big, big flock. I overwhelmed by the richness of nature and take some images with my Canon R 5. Afterwards I find at home among the masses of swallows a grey-white swallow, with the Sand Martins over the reed belt on the shore of Lake Nasser. I have to check that and write to Birdforum.net. I write that I took a picture of a swallow in flight on Lake Nasser near Abu Simbel near the Sudanese border. First I thought of a Rock Martin. But the all white underside and dark brown chest irritate me. I question, could it also be a Plain Martin or Brown-throated Martin (Riparia paludicola)? That was the question for the experts. One answers me immediately. Yes, that would probably be this species; in Sudan it would occur occasionally; to what extent it could also appear in southern Egypt is beyond his knowledge. In eBird there are 2 reports of the Plain Martin near the 4th cataract about 500 km south of Abu Simbel as the crow flies.
The Brown-throated Sand Martin is described as sedentary for most areas in Africa. But there are also reports of migratory birds, e.g. B. from East Africa. After breeding, this species forms large swarms, similar to the sand martin. In Zimbabwe, for example, the small breeding population is increased from June to September by migratory birds (probably from the rivers Zambezi or Limpopo).
I’ll keep researching. I come across a post in Dutch Birding from 2015 that a Plain Martin had been sighted at Heimar Reservoir, Judean Desert, probably on July 21st. That would have been the first observation for Israel at the time. Compared to Israel, Egypt is certainly still underrecorded. In the Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds by Hadoram Shirihai and Lars Svensson I find the indication that the Egyptian subspecies of the Sand Martin (shelleyi) sometimes only has a hint of a chest band and occasionally has spots on the throat that indicate a dark colouration. But this bird had a really dark throat and chest. Anyway: I choose the Plain Martin. But in eBird, the species does not appear in my list for the time being. The experts are probably investigating further.
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