At the lake, the best sighting was six turtle dove. This is the largest group I saw seen in Arabia never mind Oman.
At one stage they were all sitting in one tree.
Orinetal turtle dove
both species together
Arenicola is paler and more washed out.
three turtle doves: oriental (left), two sub species of European (right)
Arenicola sub species
I had prolonged views from distance but unfortunately a few common myna invaded their tree and forced them on before I could get closer still.
Oriental turtle dove takes off
The other most interesting bird at the lake was an Indian pond heron.
Indian pond heron
Earlier I had been to the settling pools where the ground is looking more interesting than ever. They are allowing excess water to flow on to the side areas. This is encouraging lots of cover to grow in places and a pseudo marsh land in others. I wish it had been like this in the autumn passage which is so much heavier.
flooded land within the settling pool complex
I visit this site quite regularly and so don't expect radical change each time I go. However I think it is important to go as often as possible during the peak passage period so as not to miss anything special.
The newly green areas around the site are attracting local species I haven't seen there before notably Namaqua dove. This is now the fourth place in Dhofar I have observed this localised species.
little ringed plover
At the moment this is a site to see a large selection of waders although I was on the look out for other types of passage birds. For example, if collared pratincole travels through Dhofar at all, this surely must be one of the best bets at finding it.
I walked round the site systematically anti-clockwise. One of the first waders seen was little ringed plover.
As I moved to the south eastern corner the pool which was created a couple of months ago thrives. The scattered trees and bushes as well as posts have been a favourite place for eagles to perch. However I counted only three left now.
steppe eagle 1
steppe eagle 2
In the pool was a western reef heron and a few black-winged stilt. House crow arrived and the eagle eventually flew off.
steppe eagle flying away
The pools on the eastern edge have the most waders at the moment but the landscape changes so rapidly that tomorrow may be different.
This area was also popular with grey heron and more western reef heron.
A small number of yellow wagtail and red-throated pipit were scattered around.
wood sandpiper and ruff
The waders themselves included a large number of little stint and wood sandpiper, green sandpiper and common sandpiper. Wood sandpiper were the most numerous.
wood sandpiper, ruff, little stint
There were also at least two greenshank and one marsh sandpiper.
waders but mostly little stint
The northern settling pools had only a few birds. Yellow wagtail were on the submerged bushes.
The large numbers of slender-billed gull and especially black-headed gull seen all winter have dwindles to just one slender-billed gull.
The young flamingo are still at the natural looking pool at the northern edge. I suspect they will go soon.