I have found very few records of birders going there even though it is so close to the sanctuary. However I have found the reeds, water and bushes to be very good birding.
Saturday's birding was surprising too. This was almost entirely because I came across a flock of eleven red avadavat.
first bird seen
It took me some time to realise what the birds were. I knew they were estrildid finches by general look and behaviour.
second picture of the first bird
However I didn't realise they were red avadavat at first because all the birds were juveniles. The first bird seen was particularly immature and almost entirely shades of brown, creams and buffs. Yet even this bird has red eyes and the bill just starting to turn pink. These should have been clues.
bird number two
bird number two showing a rear view
The two next birds had red colouring of the bill so suddenly I realised what they all were.
bird number 3
I hadn't expected to see this bird on leaving Riyadh which there is a healthy population along the Riyadh river.
bird number 4
reeds at Wadi Salalah
I am told these will be treated as escapes too when I submit the rarity report.
I must say it seems more like a mass break out but I understand the caution.
They may be breeding in the plantations and we just don't know. This is one I will definitely watch out for.
Last time I visited the site I saw first two spotted redshank in Oman. This time there was only a single common redshank.
There were plenty of dunlin and Temminck's stint among the waders.
Even on a good birding trip there are often regrets about a bird missed. This time it was a pratincole which flew straight towards me at speed and then over me. I didn't see it well enough to know which one it was and I hadn't seen any in Oman until then.
Since the pratincole flew towards the bird sanctuary I followed. However its a big place and I couldn't find it. In the end I decided breakfast was more important.
purple heron at the bird sanctuary
After breakfast I went out again, this time to Raysut and it turned out well. i will blog about that next.