curlew sandpiper preening
Unfortunately the peace and quiet of Friday morning was disturbed by the sound of gun fire. This was the first time I had heard hunters in Oman. Though it didn't last long, it did stir up the bird population.
a sign of some summer plumage in a curlew sandpiper
That population hadn't changed much since my previous visit three days before.
male marsh harrier
white cheeked tern at East Khawr
Having finally seen a greater sand plover at Baleed the afternoon before, I set about looking through all the sand plovers at east Khawr. I couldn't definitely call any of them as anything but lesser sand plover.
probable lesser sand plover
I picked one out as a candidate because it looked so large against a near-by Kentish plover. However, I then noticed the residual summer plumage on the breast. In my opinion, the brown markings went too far down for a greater sand plover.
probable lesser sand plover with Kentish plover
After moving on from East Khawr, I walked down the coast.
I had expected to be looking out seaward especially on the beach. In fact most of my attention was drawn to a fence on my left hand side though there was a curlew as well as the more obvious gulls and Kentish plover.
On the fence was a bridled tern in much better health than the previous one.
singing bush lark
Further down I surprised to see a singing bush lark.
Arguably the most common bird along the coastal scrub was barn swallow. I wonder if most of them were thinking whether it was necessary to cross the wide ocean to Africa or whether this would be their wintering spot. Either way, it was an obvious log jam.
rufous bush robin
It has occurred to me that this fence might be a bigger migrant trap in spring. Birds are more likely to rest there having crossed the ocean.
Although I didn't walk out to east Khawr, I did walk back. One of two highlights was seeing a green sandpiper in the banana plantation. They seem to love the murky water under the banana plants.
pale crag martin
The final highlight was a pair of just fledgling pale crag martin. They were continually being fed by two adults. I also noticed how dark there are compared with the sub species in the Riyadh area.
This was an interesting end to the morning. On Saturday I visited places in central Salalah in one of the best sessions since I arrived in the country.
Birds seen on 19 Sept 2014
African sacred ibis
Indian pond heron
Western reef heron
Marsh harrier (addition to Oman list)
Black winged stilt
Pacific golden plover
Common ringed plover
Lesser sand plover
Black tailed godwit
White cheeked tern
White winged black tern
European collared dove
Coastal walk East of East Khawr
Rufous bush robin
Singing bush lark
Notable birds on the walk home
Pale crag martin