Birdwatching and photography trip to Oman: day 13, 16.12.2014

Here we are already in Muscat. It was a long and exhausting day. We stopped for birding only a few times but the places were superb.

Beautiful morning and sunrise made is come out of the tents at 6 a.m. We quickly packed and off we went to the first place called Bar al Hikman. Extensive mudflats that are absolutely packed with birds. In a very rough count I recon we had about 20 000 birds. Over 5000 Great cormorants came in the sea to fish. There were hundreds and hundreds of waders. We had a total of 21 species of waders all in big numbers. The highlight of course was the Crab Plover. We counted about 30 of them. We had quite a few Flamingoes, Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, 10+ Terek Sandpipers, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Turnstones, and many stints and plovers. Gulls were pretty numerous too. We had Slender-billed, Sooty, Hugglin’s, Caspian and others. This place is absolutely amazing. Never seen this many waders at one area. We spent there a couple of hours and we left it at about 10.30a.m. to carry on on our way to the north. Today Bob had to get his plane and return the car so we had no time.

Bar al Hikman

Bar al Hikman

We stopped for lunch in a café by the road and kept going for a few more hours. En route I saw an Egyptian Vulture and an adult Eastern Imperial Eagle which were very nice. We made a brief stop at Qurayyat where I wanted us to see the Pallas’s gulls. I counted 340 of them sitting on the beach. After the short stop we carried on.

bird photography trip to Oman

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens

local fishermen

local fishermen

Driving along our attention was attracted by a large bird high up in the sky. Pulled up the car and there it was…a Lapped faced Vulture. Then I saw another one a bit higher up with better light. At the same time three Egyptian Vultures were circling around and three Brown necked ravens. What a stop this was.

Continued our route and we had another planned stop for the Hume’s Wheatear. That was fairly easy. Just pulled out the car and the bird was there. The same place where I saw it 10 days ago before my friend had arrived. It is really nice that already I feel able to show the birds and the sites in this country. Well see how it goes in the future.

We arrived in Muscat on time for a relaxed evening and enough time to allow a proper car wash and dinner. The car definitely needed it. One could not see its color after driving along all those desert roads.

Well that was it. The trip is over. I think I shall be doing this one again next year. We ended up with 168 species and 68 of them were new to me. Will post a full checklist of seen birds.

Observed species list
1 Arabian Partridge – Alectoris melanocephala – photographed
2 Sand Partridge – Ammoperdix heyi
3 Grey Francolin – Francolinus pondicerianus – photographed
4 Lesser Whistling Duck – Dendrocygna javanica – photographed
5 Gadwall – Anas strepera
6 Eurasian Wigeon – Anas penelope
7 Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
8 Northern Shoveler – Anas clypeata
9 Northern Pintail – Anas acuta
10 Garganey – Anas querquedula
11 Eurasian Teal – Anas crecca
12 Common Pochard – Aythya ferina
13 Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis
14 Greater Flamingo – Phoenicopterus roseus
15 African Sacred Ibis – Threskiornis aethiopicus – photographed
16 Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus – photographed
17 Eurasian Spoonbill – Platalea leucorodia
18 Striated Heron – Butorides striata – photographed
19 Squacco Heron – Ardeola ralloides
20 Indian Pond Heron – Ardeola grayii
21 Western Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
22 Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
23 Purple Heron – Ardea purpurea – photographed
24 Great Egret – Ardea alba
25 Intermediate Egret – Egretta intermedia – photographed
26 Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
27 Western Reef Heron – Egretta gularis – photographed
28 Masked Booby – Sula dactylatra
29 Brown Booby – Sula leucogaster
30 Great Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
31 Socotra Cormorant – Phalacrocorax nigrogularis
32 Osprey – Pandion haliaetus – photographed
33 Black Kite – Milvus migrans
34 Egyptian Vulture – Neophron percnopterus – photographed
35 Lappet-faced Vulture – Torgos tracheliotos – photographed
36 Short-toed Eagle – Circaetus gallicus – photographed
37 Western Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus
38 Hen Harrier – Circus cyaneus
39 Pallid Harrier – Circus macrourus – photographed
40 Common Buzzard – Buteo buteo
41 Greater Spotted Eagle – Clanga clanga
42 Steppe Eagle – Aquila nipalensis – photographed
43 Eastern Imperial Eagle – Aquila heliaca – photographed
44 Verreaux’s Eagle – Aquila verreauxii – photographed
45 Bonelli’s Eagle – Aquila fasciata – photographed
46 Booted Eagle – Hieraaetus pennatus
47 Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
48 Barbary Falcon – Falco pelegrinoides
49 White-breasted Waterhen – Amaurornis phoenicurus
50 Little Crake – Porzana parva
51 Common Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus
52 Eurasian Coot – Fulica atra
53 Eurasian Oystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus
54 Crab-plover – Dromas ardeola
55 Black-winged Stilt – Himantopus himantopus
56 Red-wattled Lapwing – Vanellus indicus – photographed
57 Pacific Golden Plover – Pluvialis fulva – photographed
58 Grey Plover – Pluvialis squatarola – photographed
59 Common Ringed Plover – Charadrius hiaticula
60 Kentish Plover – Charadrius alexandrinus
61 Lesser Sand Plover – Charadrius mongolus – photographed
62 Greater Sand Plover – Charadrius leschenaultii
63 Pheasant-tailed Jacana – Hydrophasianus chirurgus – photographed
64 Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago
65 Black-tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa
66 Bar-tailed Godwit – Limosa lapponica
67 Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus
68 Eurasian Curlew – Numenius arquata
69 Common Redshank – Tringa totanus
70 Common Greenshank – Tringa nebularia
71 Green Sandpiper – Tringa ochropus
72 Wood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola
73 Terek Sandpiper – Xenus cinereus
74 Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
75 Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres
76 Sanderling – Calidris alba
77 Little Stint – Calidris minuta
78 Temminck’s Stint – Calidris temminckii
79 Curlew Sandpiper – Calidris ferruginea
80 Dunlin – Calidris alpina
81 Ruff – Philomachus pugnax
82 Slender-billed Gull – Chroicocephalus genei – photographed
83 Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
84 Caspian Gull – Larus cachinnans
85 Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
86 Gull-billed Tern – Gelochelidon nilotica
87 Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia
88 Little Tern – Sternula albifrons
89 Sandwich Tern – Thalasseus sandvicensis
90 Whiskered Tern – Chlidonias hybrida
91 Pallas’s Gull – Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus – photographed
92 Sooty Gull – Ichthyaetus hemprichii – photographed
93 Lesser Crested Tern – Thalasseus bengalensis – photographed
94 Greater Crested Tern – Thalasseus bergii – photographed
95 Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse – Pterocles exustus – photographed
96 Spotted Sandgrouse – Pterocles senegallus – photographed
97 Crowned Sandgrouse – Pterocles coronatus
98 Rock Dove – Columba livia
99 Eurasian Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
100 Namaqua Dove – Oena capensis – photographed
101 Bruce’s Green Pigeon – Treron waalia – photographed
102 Laughing Dove – Spilopelia senegalensis
103 Rose-ringed Parakeet – Psittacula krameri
104 Indian Roller – Coracias benghalensis – photographed
105 Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis
106 Little Green Bee-eater – Merops orientalis – photographed
107 Eurasian Hoopoe – Upupa epops – photographed
108 Red-backed Shrike – Lanius collurio – photographed
109 Daurian Shrike – Lanius isabellinus
110 Alexander Parakeet – Psittacula eupatria
111 Masked Shrike – Lanius nubicus – photographed
112 African Paradise Flycatcher – Terpsiphone viridis – photographed
113 House Crow – Corvus splendens – photographed
114 Brown-necked Raven – Corvus ruficollis – photographed
115 Fan-tailed Raven – Corvus rhipidurus – photographed
116 Greater Hoopoe-Lark – Alaemon alaudipes
117 Bimaculated Lark – Melanocorypha bimaculata
118 Desert Lark – Ammomanes deserti
119 Lesser Short-toed Lark – Alaudala rufescens – photographed
120 Crested Lark – Galerida cristata
121 Oriental Skylark – Alauda gulgula
122 Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark – Eremopterix nigriceps – photographed
123 White-eared Bulbul – Pycnonotus leucotis
124 Red-vented Bulbul – Pycnonotus cafer – photographed
125 White-spectacled Bulbul – Pycnonotus xanthopygos – photographed
126 Sand Martin – Riparia riparia
127 Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
128 Pale Crag-Martin – Ptyonoprogne obsoleta
129 Common Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
130 Plain Leaf-Warbler – Phylloscopus neglectus – photographed
131 Clamorous Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus stentoreus
132 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler – Iduna pallida
133 Graceful Prinia – Prinia gracilis
134 Desert Whitethroat – Sylvia minula
135 Arabian Warbler – Sylvia leucomelaena
136 Asian Desert Warbler – Sylvia nana – photographed
137 Menetries’s Warbler – Sylvia mystacea
138 White-breasted White-eye – Zosterops abyssinicus – photographed
139 Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis – photographed
140 Tristram – Onychognathus tristramii – photographed
141 Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
142 Bluethroat – Luscinia svecica
143 Black Redstart – Phoenicurus ochruros
144 Isabelline Wheatear – Oenanthe isabellina
145 Desert Wheatear – Oenanthe deserti – photographed
146 Red-breasted Flycatcher – Ficedula parva
147 Hume’s Wheatear – Oenanthe albonigra
148 Red-tailed Wheatear – Oenanthe chrysopygia – photographed
149 Blackstart – Oenanthe melanura – photographed
150 Nile Valley Sunbird – Hedydipna metallica – photographed
151 Palestine Sunbird – Cinnyris osea – photographed
152 Purple Sunbird – Cinnyris asiaticus – photographed
153 Shining Sunbird – Cinnyris habessinicus – photographed
154 House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
155 Rueppell’s Weaver – Ploceus galbula – photographed
156 Scaly-breasted Munia – Lonchura punctulata – photographed
157 White-throated Munia – Euodice malabarica – photographed
158 African Silverbill – Euodice cantans – photographed
159 Citrine Wagtail – Motacilla citreola – photographed
160 Grey Wagtail – Motacilla cinerea
161 White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
162 Tawny Pipit – Anthus campestris
163 Long-billed Pipit – Anthus similis – photographed
164 Water Pipit – Anthus spinoletta
165 Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak – Rhynchostruthus percivali
166 Cinnamon-breasted Bunting – Emberiza tahapisi – photographed
167 Arabian Babbler – Turdoides squamiceps – photographed

168 Heuglin’s gull – Larus heuglini – photographed

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