Most hotspots based on the hills and springs are north east of the city. In other words they are a little further east of where I went yesterday.
I was looking to see what this area has to offer and was specially interested in finding Palestine sunbird which is an upland bird in Oman.
The great majority of the birding was in woodlands by choice even though other terrain such as grassland exists there.
However there was good birding to be had. For a start I saw eight golden oriole overall in four different places.
male Shining sunbird
Ruepell's weaver was very common in the woods especially in the damper areas.
young Ruepell's weaver
Needless to say, I found a Dideric cuckoo next to one of the larger Ruepell's weaver groups.
Again, it was a young bird. I believe the adults have left for Africa.
Other common woodland birds included cinnamon-breasted bunting, grey headed kingfisher, laughing dove and the migrant spotted flycatcher. Red-backed shrike was also seen regularly.
Abyssinian white eye
Abyssinian white eye was arguably the most common bird of all in the thicker woods roaming around in mobile flocks.
Once again blackstart was seen. I am no longer surprised to see this bird normally of dry terrain but in woods in Oman.
Birds seen less often included African paradise flycatcher and graceful prinia.
Looking up from the woods, I saw three steppe eagle during the day and several kestrel.
European roller was common, not in the woods but on wires.
Tristram's starling was also common but only next to the villages.
pale crag martin
In the air, the most regularly seen bird was pale crag martin though barn swallow and swifts were usually flying with them. I didn't look at the swifts well enough to see if there were any other than the local Forbes-Watson swift.
The mountain road came down right next to Ayn Sahlnout. I decided to spend half an hour there before the trip was finished.
Citrine wagtail is proving to be the most regular sight of all the wagtails at Khawrs and Ayns (lagoons and springs). A grey wagtail was spotted at Ayn Sahlnout too.
The duck population seems to have dwindle to a single garganey since my last visit.
There wasn't time for a full look at the birds but there was one last chance of the day to see an other grey-headed kingfisher. The rest had been seen in woods but its habitat is more varied than that.
It was still there but turned out to be not so exotic. Even so it was the most highly coloured red-tailed shrike I have even seen. It most closely matched a male Daurian shrike though its tail was towards the extreme dark end of the spectrum and its supercilium was at the whiter end of the spectrum. Its undersides were brunt orange with only a pale patch in the very middle of the belly.
There is so much variation in this "two"species.