I had no luck with the lark on the way to Mudayy. Dunn's lark is a true nemesis bird for me and now in two countries: Saudi Arabia and Oman.
However the birding around Mudayy village was still worthwhile.
Every time I have been there, chestnut-bellied sandgrouse have been near the ayn (spring) itself.
I went into hiding behind some bushes at the ayn at around 8.30 am to see if they would come into drink.
Several groups flew past or circled round almost continually.
Then at 8.50 am, the first group landed to drink. These were followed by successive groups in the next ten minutes then it all went quiet.
two chestnut-bellied sandgrouse
They mostly only stayed at the water's edge for less than two minutes.
several chestnut-bellied sandgrouse
The most common visitors to the water while I was hidden were European collared dove. There was no sign of the hoped-for African collared dove.
European collared dove
Buzzing around the spring were several Nile valley sunbird. I found them easily compared with my very first visit back in November when I came to Mudayy for the main purpose of a "guaranteed" sighting of them. Of course they are found throughout Dhofar but this is more certain than most.
headshot of male Nile valley sunbird
This time the males were in breeding plumage which apparently they gain in February or March.
male Nile Valley sunbird
I moved away from the spring and into the main part of the village still looking for African collared dove but only finding European collared dove in large numbers and laughing dove.
Indian house crow
On strange sight was an lone Indian house crow. These are normally coastal birds. Apparently a single bird has been there for several months now but I hadn't seen it before.
Not sure I have a Namaqua dove in the village before either.
male hooded wheatear 1
Another surprise was the presence of both a male and a female hooded wheatear. This was a first for me in Dhofar although I had observed one a 1000 kilometres north east near the town of Adam. They are supposed to like "desolate, barren, rocky ravines gorges and deserts." This one was on a wire in a village!
male hooded wheatear 2