Deprecated function: Unparenthesized `a ? b : c ? d : e` is deprecated. Use either `(a ? b : c) ? d : e` or `a ? b : (c ? d : e)` in include_once() (line 1439 of /home/kwbirds/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
Al-Doha Nature Reserve
0 - 10m
IBA - KW003
Public and Private (Reserve)
General Site Description:
A sandy coastal sabkhah, some of which is flooded by exceptional tides, with salt-tolerant vegetation; and associated intertidal mudflats. Drainage water from a few nearby private chalets or an Entertainment Park flows across part of the site and supports 0.5 ha of Phragmites reedbed. The reserve is bisected by a public lane to the chalets, and within it there is also a major outlet for seawater coolant used by Doha power-stations. Previously the site was used at weekends for pic-nics and recreation.
When birdwatching on the extensive tidal flats a telescope (or smaller scope) can be extremely useful; note that the best time to visit is on a rising tide when birds are forced to come much closer to shore. At this time it is important not to disturb or displace resting and roosting flocks.
On a rising tide the are near the Doha power-station outfall can be full of waders and waterfowl, this may include huge flocks of gulls and terns also. The salt-tolerant vegetation provides a favoured roost site for waders, especially in winter and during migration seasons. Important January counts include Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (90), Pied Avocett Recurvirostra avosetta (85) and Slender-Billed Gull Larus genei (900). About 70 species have been recorded; the site is not well-watched by local standards.
The site hosts interesting populations of mud-flat Invertebrates and Mudskippers.
This IBA was last assessed in 1993, so there is a need to formally conduct vigorous surveys to re-assess and update the status. The entire reserve is fenced on the landward sides but some sections of fencing are broken at present and gates are permanently open. At some places barbed-wire of Iraqi defences and associated debris remain in place perhaps hindering off-road vehicle movements. Unfortunately shooting of migrant birds does take place here often and many hundreds of shot-gun cartridges litter some places, especially where access by off-road vehicle is possible.