I expected the birding to be good and I wasn't disappointed.
Before we had even reached the top of the hill, two Arabian partridge were seen at the side of the road. Furthermore on top of the sign at the junction of Wadi Darbat and the hill road stood a a waiting Arabian wheatear.
My colleagues dropped me off, before we reached the river, for a couple of hours while they ventured on.
Singing bush lark
I strode straight into some lightly wooded pastureland. Almost immediately I glimpsed a dark and white bird flash in front of my eyes without being able to positively identify it though I had my suspicions.
The area was thronging with laughing dove though I quickly noticed one Bruce's green pigeon in the distance. Two passerines were also very common. These were Ruepell's weaver and Singing bush lark.
The lark is described in most guides as liking dry scrub. Yet it seemed very at home here. I am told that by mid November much of the greenery browns and that the landscape may then be more usual for this lark.
some of Wadi Darbat's pasture land
Another (?) Dideric cuckoo
Grey headed kingfisher
Another common bird was blackstart. Like singing bush lark this is normally a bird of much drier habitat and shows how dry the wadi must get later in the year.
Both the swift and the cuckoo were "lifers".
However there were indeed some different birds. African silverbill were common in gardens of small holdings.
Cinnamon breasted bunting
Wadi Darbat river
After I was picked up we had a very pleasant barbeque near the river. From here I wandered away from the group from time to time to bird the waterway.
Bruce's green pigeon
The second was a spotted flycatcher. It left me wondering if, like the rufous bush robin, any of these stay the winter.
The next day, on Saturday I returned to East Khawr. Here I added another 13 species to my Oman list which I hadn't seen on the previous visit only 5 days before. I also saw the most species in any session since I arrived.
Arabian partridge O
Bruce's green pigeon O
Dideric Cuckoo O, L
Forbes-watson's swift O, L
Grey headed kingfisher
White spectacled bulbul
Singing bush lark O
Pale crag martin
Rufous bush robin O
Arabian wheatear O
Spotted flycatcher O
Striolated bunting O
Cinnamon breasted bunting O