Oman ~ Feb '18

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Spent an extended long weekend in Oman with Jono L,  flying through the night of the 21st February and landing early morning of the 22nd, visa pre done so saving time and bags collected which were loaded in to the 4x4 and off east for 3 hours stopping at Sur ..

In the harbour and along the beach were plenty of birds like Sooty, Slender-billed, Heuglin's, Steppe and Pallas's Gulls, Swift and Lesser Crested Terns, waders like Bar-tailed Godwit, Lesser and Greater Sandplovers, Terek Sandpiper and Pacific Golden Plover ...

From here we continued on towards Ras al Hadd stopping at Khawr Jirama ..

" If passable the track leads to the mangroves "

Well it certainly looked good with tyre marks going across the dry mud but we managed over half way before getting stuck and about 45 minutes of digging finally got us out again ..

This time we walked out to the mangroves and found a flock of Crab Plovers and a massive red sign saying
   " warning soft mud "

Moving on to Ras al hadd for the last of the evening light and having a recce for the following morning session and found a big flock c.500+ Pallas's Gulls.

Sunrise on the 23rd around the older and smaller airstrip at Ras al Hadd with a couple of Desert Wheatear ..

One was more than happy to let me in close ...

I went and picked up Jono so he could have a go at the wheatear and he suggested that I go out further towards the airstrip where he had Black-crowned Sparrow-lark and Pallid Swift ..

From here we had a big drive to Al Ghubrah bowl stopping at a few good sites on route Qurayyat with many Khawr near the coast, Sunub Waste site and Al Ansab lagoons only really adding to the numbers, the drive took far longer than we had planned for and arrived with only an hour of light and Al Ghubrah bowl devoid of birds..

 You wouldn't have thought it but I found a new use for small rocks here, strangely not as soft as Andrex .. 

The morning of the 24th and we headed out to Ras as Sawadi and checked the dunes to the west of the road finding a nice Desert Warbler and Southern Grey Shrike ..


The dunes to the east of the road looked promising but held only a 1st.w type Hooded Wheatear ?? and flyover Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse ..

Possible Hooded Wheatear ?

Next stop was Al Qurm Park 8km west of Old Muscat we arrived at 4pm as this is when it opens supposedly yet the park was already busy so must of opened earlier,  considering the amount of people on a daily basis the birds were skitish.

Common Myna

House Crow

Later that evening it was in to Muttrah for the souq a traditional Arab market, a great place, colourful textiles and the smell of spices before some dinner at the harbour ...

Mutrah Harbour

On the way back it was the stunning Mosques that looked amazing against the dark moon less sky ..

Masjid Alzawawi

Al Almeen 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi mate - I don't think your Wheatear is a Hooded. They are almost smokey-coloured with no supercilia and a large amount of creamy white in the outer tail. Difficult from one photo but it looks to have a complete black tail? Possibly female Desert