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Birdwatching and photography trip to Oman: day 2, 5.12.2014

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After pretty exhausting and emotionally intense night I was on my way to the first birding stop – Al Ansab Lagoon.  I was supposed to get permission to enter the place but the website of the company managing the site was constantly showing errors when I tried to book a visit so I gave up.

Managed to find the place but initially I was pretty disappointed. No access and no visibility, pretty overgrown. Well I drove up and down the road searching for any good view point but there was no. The only thing I could do I just watch from the road for birds flying over the reed beds. Marsh Harriers, Cormorants, Mallards and that’s about it. Recent news were suggesting thee was supposed to be a Cotton Teal but I didn’t see any. I did manage to tick of a few lifeous though: Purple Sunbird, Little Green Bee-eaters, Indian Silverbill and finally managed to get a good view of Common Myna. Yesterday with all this traffic I couldn’t pay enough attention to all the birds along the road.

eclipse male Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

eclipse male Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

In an hour or so I decide to change the place and go my second one called Al Qurm National Park. According to the books this is one of the first sites that a newcomer to Oman should visit as it offers good introduction to local birds. Since I have never been to the Middle East at all, this site proofed to be spectacular. I did over 15 new birds just like that.

Al Qurm park in Muscat

Al Qurm park in Muscat

In the park along the canal and the little garden I had Citrine Wagtail, White Spectacled Bulbul, Red vented Bulbul, White eared Bulbul, Grey Franconlin, Red wattled Lapwing, Indian Roller, more Indian Silverbills, Little green Bee-eaters, Daurian Shrike, House Crow etc. I just stood by a little water pool and all the birds were coming over. For 15 min I was getting a new bird nearly every minute. Absolutely spectacular. Even more amazing was a mating scene of Indian Silverbills.

my first Little Green Bee-eater

one of my first Little Green Bee-eater pictures

Indian Silverbillsright after mating.

Indian Silverbillsright after mating.

Scaly breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Scaly breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

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Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)

Later on I moved towards the beach where I added Sooty Gull, abundant in hundreds, and Swift Tern, Lesser crested tern, Western Reef Heron and more Common Myna, Indian Silverbills, Little green Bee-eaters, Indian Rollers etc.

Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii)

Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii)

Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis

Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis)

I wanted to see a part of Muscat and since I won’t have many possibilities I decided to have a walk in old Muscat and see the palace of the Sultan. What a place! Majestic. Took some night photos and off I went to another attempt for finding good camping location.

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Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

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This time my direction was clearer than yesterday’s. I approached the area and found a quiet place where I parked the car. I was pretty calm all might long but decided to sleep in the car and didn’t dare to put up a tent. Anyway, it was a long but productive day.

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