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The southern coast of Oman has some stunning scenery and abundant bird life, I am going to love it here.



 We had a mixed bag of fortune today, a few dips and some excellent sightings throughout the day. It was another superb day weather-wise, but it did reach a high of 31C.


 Our day began in the dark at 5am as we fell out of bed and into the car, we had a 40 minute drive to the oasis and we wanted to be there by first light. Our arrival coincided with sunrise and as we sat in the car waiting for the light to improve we noticed a ‘rail’ type bird walking in the short grass next to the nearest pool, we soon established that we had found a great bird for the list, White-breasted Waterhen, fabulous! Unfortunately I had seen this species a few days earlier in Australia. We were out of the car pretty sharpish and soon listing more birds, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Water Pipit, Asian Desert Warbler, Great Grey Shrike, Desert Wheatear, a single Pintail and hundreds of Laughing and Collared Doves. A Citrine Wagtail joined the White Wagtails but we still had no sighting of the Hypocolius. We also logged a Ruppell’s Fox, a small fox with big ears.




a few pics of Desert Wheatear in the morning light





 Before we left the area we waited for Sandgrouse to arrive for their morning drink and after waiting for a short period a flock of about 40 Spotted Sandgrouse came down about 100 meters from us. They refused to come over to the water and flew off again.


 We ate an omelette with Arabic bread for breakfast back at the motel and then spent an hour or so walking the grounds. We found Nile Valley Sunbirds, Common Chiffchaff, Plain Leaf Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Brown-necked Raven and a Song Thrush, but the star bird was a Ménétriés’s Warbler seen by my companion, Dancho.


Citrine Wagtail

 We had 270 km further south to travel today so we set off around 10:30am with our planned first stopped some 200km down the road. The roads are empty in this part of Oman, they are wide and straight and fast, we arrived at Wadi Rabkut at 12 noon. It was baking hot but a nice breeze kept us cool. The wadi was wide and long, we walked for 5 minutes before we found Asian Desert Warbler and Desert Wheatear. We then found Hoopoe Lark, Desert Lark and Bar-tailed Desert Lark all in the same little area.

view of the very dry wadi Rabkut

 A nice find was a Mountain Gazelle and just after that Dancho put up four Sand Partridges, another target species in the bag.


I think this is a Mountain Gazelle

Moving on we drove another 30km south and stopped just outside of the town of Thumrayt where a large Land-Fill project which had been reported to have been attracting a good number of migrant eagles. It looked deserted when we got there except for several Pale Crag Martins, but when we stepped out of the car and scanned the surrounding hills we found many eagles. Some circled above us, others sat on the hills but all we could find was 11 Steppe Eagles, a great bird, but we expected a couple more species.


Our final stop was just outside of the town of Salalah, it was a lovely little valley with a stream running through it, very picturesque and full of birds. It was late afternoon now, the light was superb and we enjoyed a lovely hour or so sitting by the stream and watching the birds come to drink or feed in the water.





two views of Ayn Sahnawt






Waders on show included, Temminck’s Stint (3), Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Common Snipe, we also saw Grey and Purple Herons, Black-crowned Night Heron, Citrine, White and Grey Wagtails.


Citrine Wagtail

 A few goodies included our first African Silverbill, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Tristram’s Starling and a Blackstart! Other sightings included Eurasian Hoopoe, Black Redstart and we heard Arabian Partridge calling from the hillside.


 The light began to fade and as we prepared to drive into town to find accommodation we bumped into a local guy who just happened to rent out apts. We followed him into the suburbs where he showed us a nice two bed apt which he let us have very cheaply for a few nights, where’s the catch – watch this space.