Thursday, 25 September 2014

Long-toed stint and more

I found time late yesterday afternoon to visit my local at East Khawr but taking in the near-by Dahariz Park for the first time.

This was a successful session with four new additions to my Oman list including a lifer.

Caspian tern

Even on arrival as I first scanned the birds at the seaward end of the Khawr, I immediately pick out some Caspian tern. This was new to the country list.

Caspian tern and others

Right in front of me while I was scaning more widely were four dunlin including a stocky-looking juvenile.

first year Dunlin

Meanwhile out near the Caspian tern were several great crested tern. Saunders's tern, white-cheeked tern and white-winged tern were also present elsewhere.

great crested tern

Just behind the Caspian tern my attention was drawn to a frenetic wader. 

marsh sandpiper turning

It was a marsh sandpiper which was eating vavaciously and turning often. It was clearly hungry. Either way it was another first for me in Oman.

marsh sandpiper

Further away from me a large group of glossy ibis and ruff were sharing some of the area with taller grass.

glossy ibis with ruff

There were a larger number of sooty gull at the khawr and off the beach than usual.

sooty gull

Seven Heuglin's gull were swimming in the khawr too.

garganey with wood sandpiper

There were plenty of Kentish plover, lesser sand plover, greater sand plover and common redshank. Smaller numbers of wood sandpiper, Temminck's stint, sanderling and greenshank were around too. Garganey duck number still seem to be rising and they are getting tamer.

Dahariz Park

After an hour or so I left form the near-by Dahariz Park which is less than 200 metres away and should have been visited before.

Rufous bush robin

It had an almost exactly the same cross section of bird species as the larger Salalah Park last weekend. One small difference is that there were no golden oriole but there was a Bruce's green pigeon.

Scaly-breasted munia

These parks are the only places I have seen scaly breasted munia. Hoopoe like the place too.


Almost as an after-thought I decided to return to the khawr to see if anything had changed in the intervening 45 minutes.

It had. two whimbrel had turned up as had a fast walking wader which I didn't immediately recognise. I knew it was different though. 

 a wet long-toed stint

The bird was very wet initially. I assume it had taken a bath. It was now walking off the water and kept away from the water line all the time I tracked it. 

a dried out long-toed stint

With a long neck, upright stance and of course long toes on dull yellow legs, I worked out it was a long-toed stint. This apparently is quite scarce in the gulf even in Oman. It was certainly a lifer.

desert wheatear

To top the afternoon off, I came across a desert wheatear a few minutes later on the edge of the khawr. Excluding blackstart (which really is a wheatear), this was my first sighting of wheatear in Oman.

I was very pleased with yesterday afternoon.


  1. That's some haul of species Rob i did'nt even think that Long Toed Stint would occur in that part of the World.

    Laurie -

  2. Laurie, the birding at Salalah is very rich. There are plenty of Indo-Malay species that make it out here! Rob