We have many tens of cattle egret winter in Dhofar but there are only easily recognisable as Eastern cattle egret in late spring. The lack of birders at that precise time looks like the issue and not the scarcity.
After Raysut lagoons on Wednesday afternoon, my last stop was at the settling pools. It was here I came across twelve cattle egret grazing over the fertiliser piles.
Eastern cattle egret
One was obviously different even though at first I could only see its top (see photo below) as it peeked above a pile.
first view of Eastern cattle egret
three cattle egret
Other than the cattle egret and small flock of flamingo there were few large water birds present except one grey heron, one glossy ibis.
In general there were fewer birds than in spring and winter.
However the eastern cattle egret was not the only rarity.
For about fifteen months from about November 2014 until February 2016, a spur-winged lapwing was present at the site. Nearly all that time it was associating with a red-wattled lapwing which also doesn't belong here in summer. This winter there were three red-wattled lapwing.
I was surprised to see the reappearance of the spur-winged lapwing after three months with no observations. Again it was with a single red-wattled lapwing which is presumably the same orphan as before. I call these the odd couple.
spur-winged lapwing in flight
The resident house crow tried to chase them off once again.
I walked back to the car by passing by the front perimeter's hedge of trees and bushes. This held some late migrants. I counted six marsh warbler, two willow warbler and three spotted flycatcher.
A cinnamon-breasted bunting made an unusual appearance at this location too.
It is now too hot to make my regular Friday visit into the desert. I will bird locally this weekend and report what I see.