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.
The camel pens here once again proved a magnet for sand partridge, rock dove and desert lark.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
pale crag martin by Jolynn Van Duffelen
There aren't many house sparrow out here but both a male and female were observed drinking.
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