Monday, 2 March 2015

Jarziz farm revisited

I visited two farming areas on Saturday. the first was another trip to (now small) Jarziz farm in the centre of Salalah.

This time my attention was not mostly on the huge pivot field. Instead it was on the green area with bushes and trees which is fed by the overflow of water from the farms big holding tank.

The tank was overflowing while I was there and a large part of the green area was flooded. Unfortunately the flooding was so recent it hadn't apparently attracted any special birds.

Nevertheless, I did see a Siberian stonechat there which is uncommon this far south.

Siberian stonechat

Indeed it was only the third one I have seen in six months in Dhofar.

note pale rump

The best birds there were arguably three common quail which I flushed and then couldn't re-find. The long grass in parts of this green area are ideal hiding places for them.

African silverbill

There was a large mobile flock of African silverbill as well as several collared dove and laughing dove among the other birds.

grey heron

In the holding tank itself was a squacco heron and a grey heron. I was a little surprised to see fish in the water which might explain those birds prolonged presence.

Asian grey shrike (aucheri)

Elsewhere on the farm was an aucheri shrike.

Isabelline wheatear

Wheatears were restricted to Isabelline wheatear and desert wheatear. This time I didn't see any northern wheatear and certainly not my target pied wheatear. The latter bird is uncommon in Dhofar. It's main passage route is further north.

crested lark

Otherwise the field also held tawny pipit, crested lark and chestnut bellied sandgrouse this time.

marsh harrier

Overhead were several common kestrel and one marsh harrier.

After leaving this farm, I headed north into the desert to a completely different farming area. I went to the Shisr farming district for the first time.

I added a new bird to my Oman list on this journey. I will blog about this next.

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