Saturday, 21 November 2015

Crakes and kingfisher at Khawr Rori

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to Khawr Rori again in my quest to find a little crake which is still missing from my Oman list. I was with my work colleague and friend Michael Immel. As we arrived early we visited the main water section as well as the reedy offshoot of the water body where crakes can be found.

I will write about the main water body but first I will give news on my crake hunt.

The good news is that we saw both Baillon's crake and spotted crake.

Baillon's crake

We actually saw two of each.

close up of primary projection of Baillon's crake

The two easiest characteristics to separate the above bird from a little crake is the lack of any red on the base of the bill and the short primary projection (i.e short wings). So this bird is a Baillon's crake.

spotted crake

I only managed a picture of a spotted crake at dusk itself.

In correspondence with Jens Eriksen, it is confirmed that little crake is much the rarest of the three crakes in Dhofar but it is possible apparently so I won't give up.

Before looking for crakes, the main lake was interesting.

two cotton pygmy goose

The number of cotton pygmy goose has doubled in a week: from one to two.

shoveller with cotton pygmy goose

Flamingo and black-tailed godwit are two of the more obvious species at the khawr.

flamingo with a black-tailed godwit

I managed a picture of the intermediate egret which has now been present for a week or two.

Intermediate egret

Two of the resident red-knobbed coot were spending time in the deep water well inland but they flew closer by briefly.

distant shot of red-knobbed coot flying

However the most interesting sighting of the session was probably the re-emergence of a malachite kingfisher.

Malachite kingfisher

As far as I know all previous sightings have been in the inland spur of the lagoon which is approached from the main road. Sightings from there stopped over a week ago. This sighting was at least 500 metres away in the main lagoon.

greater spotted eagle

While a lot more steppe eagle than greater spotted eagle winter near Salalah, the odds chance near water. The fewer greater spotted eagle gravitate there. This is probably the same bird I saw at the khawr a week before.

On Friday I acted out my role as a birdingpal with two visitors. We went west of the city. I will blog about that next.

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