Whiskered tern at rest
upperside of Whiskered tern in flight
Nevertheless I took more careful photos than usual to make sure. An all grey rump is a characteristic of whiskered tern and black tern but not the white winged black tern which is the most common wintering marsh tern in Dhofar.
The head pattern was a perfect fit for a whiskered tern too.
whiskered tern flying away
Only on returning home did I realise I had made a mistake. There had been two terns there. Unfortunately the photos of the second tern were few and most were too blurred.
This second tern has a dark back and a different head pattern. It is either a black tern or a white winged black tern. It will need a return visit and hope that it is still there.
Sometimes birding brings disappointments.
Abdim's stork with a single white stork
Meanwhile at ground level, I accidentally flushed three juvenile black-crowned night heron. I had seen one at the site before.
The water is deep enough to sustain a resident little grebe population.
More blue-cheeked bee-eater were passing through. Every water body with cover has these birds at the moment. However, I still haven't seen a single European bee-eater in Oman.
As well as the treated water lake I also went to the main rubbish dump where bird numbers have multiplied since my last visit. They were over 250 Abdim's stork and over 200 steppe eagle.
Around the perimeter I also came across a European roller, a kestrel, several blackstart and desert wheatear and a few barn swallow.
sub adult steppe eagle
young steppe eagle with eastern imperial eagle
In the end I found one Eastern Imperial eagle.
eastern imperial eagle
In my next blog, I'll report on a good late afternoon's birding on Monday when another species was added to my Oman list and it was a good one.