Thursday, 19 May 2016

Raysut lagoons with jacanas

Yesterday afternoon, I visited Raysut after a gap of around two weeks. There are several birding sites there. This time I chose the lagoons and the settling pools. This blog only looks at the lagoons.

One of the fist birds I noticed was a pheasant-tailed jacana. This is a winter visitor to Salalah but it is apparently an occasional opportunistic summer breeder.

This bird was a good sign.

pheasant-tailed jacana hiding

I am not seeing them anywhere else at the moment. I failed to see them at the other large water body, Khawr Rori on my last trip.

pheasant-tailed jacana

I then found one swimming but noticing it was not alone. This bird was in breeding plumage.

five (out of seven) pheasant-tailed jacana

In southern India they breed in the monsoon season. The monsoon here is in July and August so there is still time this year.

Three red-knobbed coot were the other exotic birds at the lagoons.

No trip to Raysut lagoons is complete without me scanning for a vagrant African spoonbill but like on every other visit there wasn't one there.

eight Eurasian spoonbill

At the seaward end of the lagoons were however eight Eurasian spoonbill. Nearby several terns were resting. The composition of the terns varies considerably with the season. This time most were little tern and common tern with three lingering gull-billed tern.

young little grebe

The resident birds include little grebe, common moorhen and a few black-winged stilt.

black-winged stilt

A few waders are lingering. I counted three black-tailed godwit with only one in breeding plumage.

black-tailed godwit

The most numerous wader however was common greenshank.


In winter there are many eagles in the lagoons. At this time of year there are far fewer birds of prey. One osprey was very confiding.


However it was the Bonelli's eagle that caused a commotion on its arrival. Other birds fear this one with good cause especially the grey heron. This eagle is a killing machine.

Bonelli's eagle

After the lagoons I moved on to the settling pools before dusk. There were two rarities there. I will blog about this next.

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