Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Patience at Tudho

Tudho is midway between Mudhai and Mazyunah. It is a left turn off the main road and is in Wadi Aydam. I am still targetting trumpeter finch in Oman which is known to visit Tudho especially to drink. The bad news is that even after a total of over three hours watching in two sessions, it was nowhere to be seen. Furthermore this was not my first visit. Trumpeter finch in Oman is now most definitely a nemesis bird for me.

Dutch birder Jolynn Van Duffelen was patient with me as we waited in sessions both in the morning and also in the late afternoon after returning from Mazyunah.

Despite the lack of my target bird, birding was good and varied for such a remote location.

sand partridge

The camel pens here once again proved a magnet for sand partridge, rock dove and desert lark.

Arabian babbler

Behind the pens is a herder's hut. It was quite a surprise to see two Arabian babbler hopping in and out of it.

two Arabian babbler by Jolynn van Duffelen

This is the first time I have seen this species in Dhofar though there have been odd reports of it north of the Dhofar mountains and especially in Wadi Aydam.

crowned sandgrouse

We staked out the water trough for nearly an hour and a half in the morning. The highlight was a flock of crowned sandgrouse which landed about 10 metres from the water. They then spent at least 15 minutes edging slowing to the overspill of the trough which leaves a small pool on the ground.

video
video of crowned sandgrouse by Jolynn Van Duffelen

When they moved in they were hidden from view for another 10 minutes until they all suddenly flew off together.

crowned sandgrouse moving in

Two chestnut-bellied sandgrouse also drank there. However their technique was completely different. They flew straight to the pool, drank and flew straight out. They did this while the crowned sandgrouse were still hesitating.

chestnut-bellied sandgrouse by Jolynn Van Duffelen

The other interesting bird in the morning session was a Eurasian sparrowhawk which landed at the pool for just a few moments.

desert lark

Desert lark appeared and drank more than any other bird both in the morning and in the late afternoon session.

female nile valley sunbird by Jolynn Van Duffelen

The other birds drinking in the afternoon were otherwise slightly different. For example, Nile Valley sunbird made several visits but to a tap rather than the trough.

little green bee-eater by Jolynn Van Duffelen

Little green bee-eater were also in the area but  didn't taker to water.

female hooded wheatear by Jolynn Van Duffelen

A female hooded wheatear called by. The tail pattern is nicely seen in Jolynn's picture.

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hooded wheatear by Jolynn Van Duffelen

We didn't see a single Palestine sunbird either at Tudho or at Mudhai in the morning but in the afternoon they were arguably more numerous than Nile valley sunbird around the tap.

Palestine sunbird

Several pale crag martin flew along the length of the water trough in a style I have seen before at other water troughs in the country. Sometimes they drink, sometimes they bathe on the w ing.

pale crag martin by Jolynn Van Duffelen

There aren't many house sparrow out here but both a male and female were observed drinking.

house sparrow

White-spectacled bulbul often joined the sunbirds around the tap but in the end we left as no trumpeter finch were seen there or at the trough. It was also getting late.

another Palestine sunbird by Jolynn Van Duffelen

The next blog will look at Mazyunah which was the furtherest away from Salalah that we reached.

1 comment:

  1. Great set of birds - I did about five hours birding in Oman during a conference - lots of new birds. I would love to go back there.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: feel free to link this post to Wild Bird Wednesday on my photo-blog

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