One port of call for any visiting birder had to be the sinkhole at Tawi Atair. It is famous for the only known resident population east of Yemen of Yemen serin.
A single bird obliged. It was on the roof of one of the outbuildings near the hole.
second view of Yemen serin
Near-by was an Arabian wheatear.
short-toed snake eagle
There was a nice view of short-toed snake eagle when we left the sinkhole.
Eastern Imperial Eagle
On the plateau near Tawi Atair town was a continual show of birds of prey. Eastern Imperial eagle were nearly as common as kestrel. We also saw three griffon vulture and one young lappet-faced vulture.
young lappet-faced vulture
We also visited the wooded area known as Wadi Hanna. This is west of Tawi Atair town. This area gave me two additions in quick succession. I saw my first lesser whitethroat and then black redstart in Oman.
eastern black redstart
The black redstart was an eastern black redstart. It's one of those species that can only usually been found as far south as Dhofar in the second half of the winter.
black redstart through the branches
To end the birding day, we move on to Wadi Darbat just before dusk and stayed there until 45 minutes after. We were there to seek out Arabian scops owl. We heard three but unfortunately couldn't see any by torchlight.
Rather than finish the blog at this point, I have some past pictures taken from Wadi Darbat and points to make about it from mid-December onwards.
black stork at wadi Darbat
bluethroat at Wadi Darbat
After a slow start bluethroat numbers are still increasing near water in many places in Dhofar.
Summing up, although the search for Arabian scops owl didn't lead to a sighting, I added three birds to my Oman list on Thursday.
Friday was even more successful with some rarities and vagrants among more new birds. I will write about this in the next two blogs.