Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Raysut treated water lake

I finally made it to Raysut treated water lake on Saturday, a day later than originally planned.

It was not what I expected. The water was very clean so the sewage works is almost certainly state-of-the art.

This meant the lake held clean water and reeds were none existent. Flies were few as well. All this didn't mean there were no birds it just meant they were different than anticipated.

Furthermore, although it is inland the sea is barely a kilometre away and so coastal birds were present.

Little grebe

Nevertheless one of the first birds seen was little grebe. There appears to be a reasonable population there including young birds (see picture above).

The Raysut treated water lake

Black winged stilt was also seen right at the start.

black winged stilts

White cheeked tern was there showing how close to the sea the site is.

white cheeked tern

There was one clump of trees which Indian house crow were claiming for themselves.

Indian house crows

This was yet another water body in the Salalah area with glossy ibis.

glossy ibis

There are a few small pools at the edge of the main water body.

pools at the side of the lake

Temminck's stint was quite common at these.

Temminck's stint

The pools and the sides of the main water were teeming with citrine wagtail. I also saw two yellow wagtail.

citrine wagtail

Although there were a small number of white cheeked tern, the main tern was white winged black tern.

juvenile white winged black tern

Gulls were far more numerous still. Indeed there were well over 150 sooty gull in the area and probably 20 or so Heuglin's gull. It was difficult to assess the exact number because they spent much of their time within the treatment plant out of sight of the general public.

Steppe gull

I was looking out for other gulls. One or two of the large white headed gulls were too pale for Heuglin's gull.The one above was identified with the help of BirdForum as a Steppe gull. This was my first addition to my Oman list of the day.

stained grey heron

A stained grey heron caught my attention and at one stage I thought I may have found a vagrant black-headed heron.

adult little bittern

I had been glimpsing a small bittern all session when I accidentally flushed a juvenile bird over to the far bank. To my surprise when I scanned where it had gone, an adult bird flew straight into view. It was an adult little bittern.

juvenile little bittern

It disappeared from view, only for the juvenile to come straight out into the open giving me better views than the adult.

second pose of juvenile little bittern

I was a little disappointed it wasn't a yellow bittern but that will surely come now i am based in Salalah.

black crowned night heron

Soon after the views of the little bittern, I saw the second addition to my Oman list of the day. Two men were walking in the wadi who flushed a juvenile black crowned night heron. I just  managed a photograph before it disappeared.

I worked hard at the water all day and only got good rewards towards the end. 

However before I left the area completely, I chose to cross the road and spend a few minutes in the dry part of the wadi.

spotted thick-knee

I seem to have the knack of stumbling across spotted thick-knee. This time there were at least three and probably four birds.

two spotted thick-knees

My tip for seeing this bird, is get out of your car and walk. They are unlikely to be seen from a car unless they are within 3 metres of your window. Even then you could miss them.

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