This was mostly done on our day trip along the coast west of Salalah where we drove right to the checkpoint on the Yemen border.
This area has the longest and most sustained khareef (monsoon) in the country. The Sarfait to Dhalkout road is the greenest I have seen. Furthermore the area is under-birded and may hold some surprises. However, as I have already written this was not a full blown birding day yet even in snatches I could see potential.
The best bird was arguably an Amur falcon seen on a wire on the main road having climbed out of Dhalkout and starting the journey back. This was the first one I have seen in Oman outside the Salalah area.
With practice young and female birds are easily distinguished from young hobby.
One feature that Amur falcon and red footed falcon have but hobby doesn't is barring on the upper-tail seen well in the first picture.
Amur falcon 1
Amur falcon 2
Earlier and near Dhalkout were a pair of adult of Bonelli's eagle.
Earlier still and in the border village of Sarfait (also known as Deem) we had had a tea break. He I had a chance to wander round the village and sneak in some birding.
As expected the trees housed many white-spectacled bulbul, Abyssinian white-eye and Tristram's starling. In a few villages in Dhofar (eg Tawi Atair) fan-tailed raven come into the urban area. Sarfait is another one.
However even on quick inspection I picked up on two willow warbler and one eastern olivaceous warbler in an urban tree. Elsewhere were four Ruppell's weaver and my first Dideric cuckoo of the spring.
My guess is that the road between Sarfait and Dhalkout has the best potential of all. Many of the same birds were seen as we drove slowly down it. Blackstart, cinnamon-breasted bunting and long billed pipit were also observed.
Twice we came across grey-headed kingfisher on wires along the road.
greater crested tern
The only disappointment for me was the beach at Dhalkout.