And more than a few of this bird were at Dowkah. At first I saw just a pair braving the fierce heat of the fields.
Towards the end of my visit I found another 50 taking in the shade in a group of palm trees. This is the largest group I have met in Oman.
second brown-necked raven of a pair
Very few birds joined the pair of brown-necked raven out in the fields. Indeed virtually every bird out there was close to or in the shade of the pivot bars or the other water equipment. It was probably over 40C even in the shade.
northern wheatear panting
The final bird was long-legged buzzard. I spotted this as I walked back to the car at the end of the session. It was high above one of the far pivots but it was unmistakable. This had been a target for my Oman list for some time. It proved far more difficult to find than in Saudi Arabia.
I later discovered in the Oman bird list (which is actually a book) that Dowkah farm is the location of the largest ever sighting of this species in Oman with 30 birds and indeed the sighting was in summer.
Most of my birding time at Dowkah farm was spent near the water tank where there are plenty of palms and medium sized bushes. There is also a network of small irrigation channels. This small patch have been proven a magnet for birds by many birders especially during passage.
This time it was heaving with birds. The density of warblers was particularly high.
As at Shisr, common whitethroat was plentiful.
common whitethroat (left)
And once again like at Shisr there were many eastern olivaceous warbler.
eastern olivaceous warbler at water
This time there was an additional warbler not seen at Shisr.
eastern olivaceous warbler in palm
It was a great reed warbler.
great reed warbler at water
It was so obviously much larger than all the other warblers and direct comparison was easy as they came down to drink in one of the water channels.
great reed warbler (left) with spotted flycatcher (right)
I have great hopes for this patch and finding warblers during the rest of the autumn but its a long journey.
face of great reed warbler
one of the Turkestan shrike
Separation from Daurian shrike is more difficult in autumn with some birds but these were relatively straightforward. Overall each of these birds were browner than Daurian shrike especially on the crown. The tail is a big clue too being so very dark.
a second of the Turkestan shrike
male golden oriole 1
It was very early for golden oriole migration but one male gave a good display. I thought I glimpsed a female too but I am not certain.
male golden oriole 2
Not quite every bird was taking in the shade. A flock of barn swallow passed through briefly with some stopping to rest on the tallest tree in the farm.
Both a green sandpiper and a common sandpiper flushed from the water tank too.
This visit was very worthwhile and I intend to go again as many times as I can this season though it is a 340 kilometre round trip.