This very large farm is out of bounds but one can view inside from behind the perimeter fence. Sometimes birds are outside the perimeter anyway.
On Thursday morning I tried my luck before work by walking along the western fence.
The very first bird I spotted was an Abyssinian white-eye on a dead tree on my side of the fence. I can't recall seeing one at the farm before.
Near-by a group of Indian house crow were mobbing a Bonelli's eagle.
Steppe grey shrike
Isabelline wheatear 1
Isabelline wheatear 2
My hopes were raised when I came across several sparrows which turned out to be house sparrow. This is however a rare bird in Salalah not found on houses and only around the two farms. There was no yellow-throated sparrow among them.
Other interesting birds included rosy starling which winter at the farm.
singing bush lark
However that was not the end of the day's birding. I had agreed to meet up with visiting Belgian birder Bart De Schutter in Raysut after work. By tremendous coincidence we texted me to say he had found three yellow-throated sparrow at Raysut settling pools. Meanwhile I had to stay at work while itching to go off.
Soone after this I received another text to say he had also found a wire-tailed swallow there. Bart De Schutter is one of the best birders I have ever birded with and has a tremendous eye for detail.
As soon as work was over I rushed over to Raysut. Bart quickly relocated the yellow-throated sparrow. It is his photograph below and I am grateful for his permission to reproduce it. This sparrow breeds in the north of the country and disperses in winter. It became species 306 on my Oman list.
yellow-throated sparrow by Bart De Schutter
wire-tailed swallow 1
wire-tailed swallow 2
white-tailed swallow 3
white stork and Abdim's stork
At one stage there were 900 storks either resting at the site or flying immediately above it.
Then it was off to Raysut lagoons for a whistle stop.
The most interesting bird here was a aberant water pipit which appeared darker than usual and without a supercilium.
water pipit? 1
water pipit? 2