Yesterday I visited them all except the cliffs and the stay at the settling pools was short. I started out at the lagoons.
Most of the eagles have recently left there. However there was one greater spotted eagle right in front of me when I arrived at the inland end of the lagoons.
greater spotted eagle
airborne greater spotted eagle
second greater spotted eagle
The waders were very varied. In the picture below there are three birds and three species: wood sandpiper, common snipe and ringed plover.
three types of wader
two common snipe
four types of wader
Eastern Imperial Eagle
Right next to the car while looking at the eagle, a lone common ringed plover walked along the shore.
common ringed plover
The seaward end of the lagoons was where most of the greater flamingo were found. Three white stork seemingly in poor condition remain here while the others have presumably migrated.
I only counted two ruddy shelduck this time. Perhaps one more of these has migrated too.
However the biggest feature of this end were the gulls and terns. Much gulls are still either Sooty gull, Heuglin's gull and Slender-billed gull.
gull billed tern
The marsh terns were at that intermediate stage when their winter head pattern has filled in (and so is no longer distinctive) but their distinctive summer underpart patterns are not present. Unless the bird flies, I have to rely more on structural features and especially the bill. The one above is a little longer and thinner than a typical whiskered tern. However, the bill base is still broad so I support whiskered tern especially after consulting a couple of other competent birders.
Caspian tern (behind)
a second whiskered tern
The marsh tern above is a whiskered tern. The bill is relatively short and the base of the bill is broad. It seems more typical of its type that the previous one looked at in this blog.
After the lagoons, I moved on to Raysut beach. This rocky beach is an unusual habitat in Dhofar and often has birds which are hard to find anywhere else in the region. One example is oystercatcher.
Both whimbrel and grey plover are common sights except in summer there.
The rocky habitat encourages striated heron and they can usually be seen here. I often reflect on how strange it is that this species likes mangroves and rocks which don't seem very compatible.
After Raysut beach I walked straight into the near-by marina. The shore here is good for sooty gull all year round. A few Heuglin's gull and slender-billed gull are still present though the proportion of poor condition birds of the former species is quite high.
An adult steppe gull looked in reasonable condition though.
There wasn't time before sunset for a full inspection of the settling pools. I chose instead to concentrate on the area to the east just outside the main complex (and beyond the perimeter fence) where water overflows.
Aaprt of nearly one hundred Ruppell's weaver and a clamorous reed warbler, I relocated the three white-breasted waterhen from a week before.
white-breasted waterhen 1
Once again, only one of the birds regularly exposed itself. The other two were very secretive.
It will be interesting to see how long they stay. The one bird definitively has a red base to the upper mandible found in breeding birds and this species is not known to breed in Oman.
white-breasted waterhen 2
This weekend I am in the desert both days. I am hoping to add to my Oman list with some rare passage birds which can be expected around now. It will be tough. Let's see.