Friday 3 October 2014

Khawr Mughsail

Yesterday afternoon marked the start of the Eid holiday here. I have a week off work and hope to go plenty of birding. Yesterday, I took a trip out west to Mughsail.

Here is the most western Khawr in Oman and it sometimes has vagrant African species not found anywhere else.

I wasn't that lucky but still added five birds to my ever increasing Oman list.

First up was a juvenile red-necked phalarope.

red-necked phalarope

There are thousands in the sea near-by where they winter. Luckily for me, this juvenile chose the coast presumably just before meeting up with the others.

red-necked phalarope

The scalloping on the mantle is one of the easiest ways of separating it out from the much rarer red phalarope.

note mantle of red-necked phalarope

This bird is moulting from its juvenile summer plumage into winter plumage.

oiled greater flamingo

There was a single greater flamingo in the Khawr which was another first for me in Oman. It is holding its wing down not because it is broken but because it is heavy with oil. The same was true of the other wing. It could still fly though and I hope it recovers.

dark morph western reef heron

Other birds of interest in the khawr alongside 40 or so sooty gull was a dark morph western reef heron.

Pacific golden plover

A very tame juvenile Pacific golden plover kept my attention for some time. It made me realise that the flock I have been seeing in the Salalah area doesn't contain any juveniles or if it does their plumage has already changed.

other side of Pacific golden plover

Next to the juvenile Pacific golden plover were three tame juvenile dunlin too.


The khawr is divided by the coast road. After finishing with the coastal wetland, I walked over the road to the more inland part. There are plenty of reeds, a few mangrove stands and two lakes.

Over head a small group of barn swallow were hawking for insects. However with them were two sand martin. These are the first I have seen in Oman.

Barn swallow

Luckily for me members of both species stopped to rest on reeds steams.

Sand martin

The wetland has attracted a female Siberian stonechat. This is a again a first for me here. The migrants are being to arrive in numbers now.

Siberian stonechat

In one of the mangroves, I glimpsed an eastern olivaceous warbler which was my final first for the day.

Eastern olivaceous warbler

Other notable birds on the inland side of the khawr was a European roller, a large flock of Tristram's startling and a kestrel. In or near the water were plenty of moorhen and at least one common snipe.

European Roller

There is a second smaller water body on the eastern edge (Salalah side) of the settlement.There is much less cover there and bird life was more limited. The best bird here was arguably a juvenile European spoonbill.

European spoonbill

Otherwise there were four grey heron and a sprinkling of waders such as common redshank.

common redshank

So the holiday begins today. I am hoping of lots of good birding.

No comments:

Post a Comment