Saturday 18 October 2014

Khawr Taqah

Late yesterday morning I revisited Khawr Taqah. Last time I approached it from the northern end and found it was over landscaped. A car park abuts straight on to the water body and a concrete edge means there are no wetland fringes.

However I read an old trip report which recommends approaching the southern side next to the sea. Indeed there is good birding with wetland fringes mostly in the south west corner. I spent much of my time there. 

Ironically the best bird was seen as I walked back to the car in the car park! It was a resting juvenile Montagu's harrier.

Montagu's harrier

The pictures were taken close up but were somewhat spoilt by the sea breeze ruffling the birds breast feathers.

second look at the Montagu's harrier

The bird was actually as in perfect condition as the flight photograph shows.

Montagu's harrier in flight

The only time I saw the ring tail was when it flew off in the distance.

ring tail on the harrier

Before seeing this bird, I had looked at the south west corner. There was good cover from bushes which allowed me to look at four common snipe without them scattering. By their mantle pattern I could tell I hadn't found an allusive pin-tailed snipe.

common snipe

I am finding it difficult to get clear views of snipes in Oman compared with Riyadh. I think this is simply because there is generally more cover.

second view of common snipe

The water held glossy ibis, a little egret, black-winged stilt, moorhen and common sand piper.

pacific golden plover

On the fringes were kentish plover, a pacific golden plover and citrine wagtail.

juvenile grey plover

On final bird took some identification but I eventually worked out it was a juvenile grey plover.

After Khawr Taqah, I moved on to near-by Wadi Darbat. I'll report on that next.

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