Friday 20 November 2015

Forest wagtail and more at Dahariz Park

On Monday evening I was alerted to the fact that a visiting birder had found a forest wagtail in Dahariz Park that day.

I resolved to go the park early on Tuesday to look for it and to do some general birding of the park while I was there.

Forest wagtail 1

It took me nearly two hours to find it. It was spending time right on the perimeter of one of the sides of the park. While I was with it, it was shunning both the lawns and the middle of the park where the tall trees and most of the shade is.

My assumption that it might be in the "forested" part is probably the main reason it took me so long to find it.

Forest wagtail 2

It reminded me more of a pipit than a wagtail in its movements. This only the tenth Forest wagtail recorded in Oman. It also a lifer and the 304th bird on my Oman list.

Forest wagtail facing

Three other types of wagtail were also present in this compact park.

citrine wagtail

There was one first winter citrine wagtail.

white wagtail

There were white wagtail present as would be expected in a lawned area in winter.

yellow wagtail

Yellow wagtail are much less common at this time of year. The big passage has already passed through. A very few stay the winter and this park is typical habitat where this happens.

yellow-billed kite 1

Not all the action was near the ground. Two yellow-billed kite were lurking in the upper branches of the tallest trees. The resident house crow did not like this at all.

yellow-billed kite 2

The park was even more eventful. I saw the biggest flock of scaly-breasted munia I have ever seen. I counted 56 birds. 

 scaly-breasted munia

Some of the time they were associating with some Ruppell's weaver too making a very large combined feeding group.

African paradise flycatcher

In the past I have seen Bruce's green pigeon in this park which is uncommon in the city. This time there were two African paradise flycatcher which is even more rarely seen in the urban area.

shining sunbird

Places with flowering plants attract shining sunbird.

grey-headed kingfisher

Many grey-headed kingfisher have already migrated to Africa for winter. However two were lingering around the park.


Watered lawns mean worms and, worms attract hoopoe.

white spectacled bulbul

Other species included white-spectacled bulbul.

common sandpiper

Common sandpiper are actually common visitors to parks.

common myna

One of my final observations at the park was that the partly leucistic common myna seen on my last visit was still present.

Before I even reached Dahariz Park I spent 30 minutes at Khawr Dahariz around dawn looking for crakes. I was not successful. 

sleeping pied avocet

Even in this short time there were a few highlights. One was a sleeping pied avocet. Not many make it this far south.

roosting cattle egret

Forty or so glossy ibis were sharing a roost with a much larger number of cattle egret. The ibis headed towards Sahnawt farm in a regular commune. The cattle egret were still asleep.

great white egret

In Dhofar intermediate egret are as common as the confusion species which is great white egret.  So care is needed. The latter was present this time.

Though looking for crakes wasn't successful on Monday morning, I had much more success on Wednesday evening. I will blog about that next.

Birds seen at Dahariz park

Yellow wagtail  2    
Common Sandpiper  3
Eurasian Collared-Dove  6
Laughing Dove  1
Eurasian Hoopoe  5
Grey-headed Kingfisher  2
Turkestan Shrike  1
Daurian Shrike  1
African Paradise-Flycatcher  2
House Crow  12
White-spectacled Bulbul  4
Graceful Prinia  2
Common Myna  15
Shining Sunbird  4
Forest Wagtail  1  
Western Yellow Wagtail  3
Citrine Wagtail  1
White Wagtail  3
Ruppell's Weaver  25
Scaly-breasted Munia  56


  1. Congratulations on the Forest Wagtail. I saw them in Thailand where they stay close to trees but may also venture onto open lawns nearby.
    At first I thought the luesistic myna was an Oriental Pied Starling until I read your caption and looked more closely at the photo.

    1. John, thanks for the congratulations and the info on its habits. As for the myna, I also looked carefully for pied starling! There is a sustained population in UAE now.