Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Central Salalah

Saturday was overall one of my best days birding in Oman. In part it was because the terrain was new to me but also because it was so varied.

I visited three different places all within very easy walking distance of each other. I started out at Wadi Salalah which has water, moved on to Khawr Salalah which I believe is fed by wadi Salalah's water and then on to the city's main park.

A full list of birds seen is at the bottom of the blog. 

glossy ibis and others

Wadi Salalah was an excellent start. Once again glossy ibis, ruff and garganey were present as seems common on coastal fresh waters at the moment. However there was a much wider cast than that.

Wadi Salalah

Garganey was not the only duck.


There were two northern shoveller too.

northern shoveller

In among a group of black winged stilt were two of their relatives: pied avocet.

pied avocet

The waders were varied. Most notable was a group of five broad-billed sandpiper still partly in summer plumage.

broad billed sandpiper

The split supercilium on this bird was pleasingly captured in the picture below.

broad billed sandpiper feeding

Near-by in an even shallower area were two citrine wagtail.

citrine wagtail profile

These first year birds have no trace of yellow.

citrine wagtail

I moved on from the wadi to the Khawr which is a designated bird sanctuary. However although I didn't visit all the Khawr, the part I saw was arguably not as exciting as the rest of the day.

grey headed kingfisher

A grey headed kingfisher en route was interesting enough. The end of the Khawr next to the sea had an average cross section of waders and gulls.


A whimbrel on the sand bar separating the Khawr from the sea was the most eventful bird there.

Salalah Park

The park was my last stop-off and in contrast to the Khawr it exceeded any expectations I might have. The lawns were scattered with yellow wagtail which had evaded me until then in Oman.

yellow wagtail

Two golden oriole, one male and one female kept tantalising me with their fleeting appearances out of the tall trees. They refused to stay still long enough to photograph.


Hoopoe seem very comfortable in the park.

common sandpiper

Once again I found a gardened area with flocks of common sandpiper. I am getting use to it as a parkland bird.

shining sunbird

A single male shining sunbird attracted my attention. He was in serious moult.

scaly breasted munia

Two very good birds were observed just before I left the park. Two flocks of scaly-breasted munia were seen. This is a lifer bird for me.

Daurian shrike

Almost the last bird in the park was a Daurian shrike. Until Saturday all my red-tailed shrike had been Turkestan shrike and I was beginning to wonder if Daurian shrike came to this part of the Arabian peninsula.

bonelli's eagle

Finally as I walked into the city centre I looked up at two birds of prey right over the main shopping centre. One was a kestrel and the other a Bonelli's eagle.

Birds seen in central Salalah 20 Sept 2014

W= at Wadi Salalah, K= Khawr Salalah, P= in the park, C= while walking in the city. Bold means it is an addition to my Oman list

Northern shoveller W
Garganey W
Glossy ibis W
Squacco heron W, K
Grey heron K
Little egret W
Kestrel C
Moorhen W
Black winged stilt W,K
Pied avocet W
Pacific golden plover K
Common ringed plover W
Kentish plover K
Common snipe W
Black tailed godwit W
Whimbrel K
Common redshank W,K
Common sandpiper W,K,P
Temminck's stint W
Broad billed sandpiper W
Ruff W,K
Ruddy turnstone K
Sooty gull K
Gull billed tern W
White winged tern W
Whiskered tern W
White cheeked tern W, K
Collared dove P
Laughing dove K,P
Rose ringed parakeet P
Hoopoe P
Grey headed kingfisher K,P
Golden Oriole P
Daurian shrike P
House crow P
White spectacled bulbul P
Crested lark K
Graceful prinia P
Abyssinian white eye P
Common myna P
Tristram's starling P
Rufous bush robin P
Shining sunbird P
Ruepells weaver P
Scaly breasted munia P
Citrine wagtail W
Yellow wagtail P

1 comment: