Monday 27 October 2014

Ayn Hamran revisited

Yesterday was the first day I noticed the wave of mass migration that must occur every Autumn in Dhofar (Salalah area).  Over the whole day I added five species to my Oman list and all of them were migrants. Until yesterday migration activity other than waders and other seabirds had been relatively subdued probably due to the hot October weather.

Ironically I had been talking to a fellow bird watcher early the same day about a lack of migratory action since the beginning of the month.

My findings started slowly enough. My first trip of the day was to Ayn Hamran where incidentally I bumped into a French birding tour.

African paradise flycatcher

To begin with I noticed nothing special but I managed to get good sightings and photos of three of the African specialities in the region. These were African paradise flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher and Dideric cuckoo.

grey headed kingfisher

I seem to find Dideric cuckoo quite easily. The juveniles appear to spend time very close to one place so once you have found them you can return to the same spot to see them again. There were two places I had seen Dideric cuckoo before and both had them this time.

Dideric cuckoo

The shaded areas had many Abyssinian white-eye as usual as well as shining sunbird and spotted flycatcher. By the water were grey wagtail and common sandpiper.

long billed pipit

In an effort to see something different I walked downstream away from the most highly shaded areas and from the picnic spots.


Nothing more special than a common greenshank was seen.

Ruepell's weaver

I decided to head back upstream towards the car but to bird the canopies of the very tall fruiting trees. Something I should have done properly on previous visits.

The fruit were being frequented by white spectacled bulbul and Ruepell's weaver.

wood warbler

However also up there was wood warbler. This was the first add to my Oman list of the day and an indication that interesting new migrants may be coming through.


Two hoopoe were the last birds I spotted at Ayn Hamran before heading on to Khawr Swali (Soly) where I saw two other new migrants for the first time in Oman.

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