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Our second day on the south coast produced some lovely sightings in terrific scenic landscapes.


Whilst it is freezing in the UK we are suffering 31C most days, but we still manage, it’s tough but some-one has to do it.

Our day started at 6am as we left our accommodation in the suburbs of Salalah and drove straight to the beach at East Khawr. A huge lagoon was separated from the sea by beautiful white sand dunes and at the beach end of the lagoon there were shallow pools and grassy islands. The whole area was covered in birds it was amazing. Countless Little Stints ran on the beach with hundreds of Kentish, Ringed and Lesser Sand Plovers, a large flock of Ruff joined Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin, Curlew, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. We found numerous Squacco, Grey and Purple Herons also Reef, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, Eurasian Spoonbill and our one and only Sacred Ibis.

East Khawr - looking from the beach

A roost of Marsh Harriers held about 12 birds, we also saw Osprey, Great Spotted Eagle and a Honey Buzzards. A little sea watching produced Caspian, Lesser Crested, Swift and Gull-billed Terns and two new birds for the trip; Socotra Cormorant and Persian Shearwater. Add to that a number duck species, Pintail, Shoveler, Garganey, Teal, Gadwall and a number Citrine Wagtails. Not to mention hundreds of gulls of 6 species, it was quite a start to the day. Just before we left a couple of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse dropped onto the adjacent heath.


Sacred Ibis - my first 'real'  one

Eurasian Curlew

Intermediate Egret

Next we drove inland to visit a wooded area around a wadi near Ayn Razat. We had a great time there listing several new birds for the trip and getting a few lifers as well. A huge well-maintained park-garden was furnished with many flowering shrubs and it was on these that we found both Palestine and Shining Sunbirds, such lovely colours, but a bugger to photograph. We then found Tristram’s Starlings, African Rock Bunting, Abyssinian White-eye, Blackstart and our next new species, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, superb. We also had a brief view of Golden-winged Grosbeak before it flew off. Just before we set off for a walk up the valley alongside the river we found a couple of pipits feeding on a rocky hillside, after careful study we identified them as Long-billed Pipits

Ayn Razat Wadi

upper Razat wadi

Long-billed Pipit

the male Tristram's Starling

.Up the valley the river disappeared underground and the vegetation thinned out but we still found Arabian Warbler, Arabian Partridge and in the sky above the mountains we saw Lapper-faced Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Verraux’s Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Imperial Eagle.

Bruce's Green Pigeon


The Bruce's Green Pigeon is obviously a Villa fan with

claret and blue in his eyes!

EonBack on the road we visited another beach side lagoon at Khawr Raqri, it was a long walk in the heat of the day but it was worth it. There were about 20 species on show, all were seen earlier on the trip except for Glossy Ibis.

 Ayn Hamran is another wooded valley with a wadi and lots of birds, we arrived late afternoon when light was good and heat had eased off a little. Again the area was dripping with birds, the African Paradise Flycatcher was the star of the show with Masked Shrike coming close second. Another Arabian Warbler showed well as did more Blackstarts, Sunbirds, Bubuls and another Eurasian Hoopoe.

Masked Shrike is one of the most beautiful of all the shrike family 

 Well that concluded another great day out, we drove into Taqah to eat and then moved onto Wadi Darbat to set up camp, an African Scops Owl called as we put up our tents. We tried to call it out but it did not show.