Sunday 14 February 2016

Coastal Raysut

Last Thursday afternoon, I visited Raysut again but not the most regular parts.  There are five or six distinct places to go to there all with a different cross section of birds.

This time I toured the fishing harbour and the rocky beach next to it.

I was still on the look at for a common gull which had been reported 10 days before but only seen by one observer.

The large majority of birds in the harbour were Heuglin's gull, Sooty gull and slender-billed gull.

Unfortunately for me there was once again no sign of a common gull.

First Pallas's gull

Nevertheless there were two Pallas's gull. I used to see this gull on passage in eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It is apparently quite common in northern Oman in winter.

Second Pallas's gull

Only a few make it down to Dhofar and that tends to be only in mid-December through to mid-February.

black-headed gull

Another minority gull in the harbour was black-headed gull in stark contrast to the numbers at the settling pools inland.

Terek sandpiper

One Terek sandpiper was also in the harbour and three more were seen on the rocky beach.

Terek sandpiper on the move

Whimbrel are regular here except in summer.


It's good place to have a chance of seeing a striated heron too.

striated heron

Furthermore, it by far the best place to see oystercatcher. There are so few other coasts with the right habitat in Dhofar.


In winter there are usually a variety of terns. In contrast in summer there usually only resident great crested tern and over-summering sandwich tern.

Caspian tern

Caspian tern and gull-billed tern were also present this time.

On Friday I took a long day trip to Mazyunah with visiting birder Markus Craig. Mazyunah is on the border with Yemen and in the desert. It was my second trip there. I will blog about this next.

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