Wednesday 29 October 2014

Mughsail in late October

I made a short trip to Khawr Rori afeter Khawr Swali on Saturday. Here I came across Bart the Birder from Belgium.

He spoke about the first three days of his two week visit to Dhofar and five excellent birds he had seen at Mughsail. I had seen none of them.

After a short time at Khawr Rori, I decided to get in the car and drive all the way across the city and out west to Mughsail. His birding had sounded so exciting there.

Well, I spotted none of his birds!

However in the end I wasn't too unhappy.

intermediate morph western reef heron

The coastal pools were no that great this time. There were plenty of western reef heron and grey heron as well as the same lone flamingo as at my last visit.

black-tailed godwit and black-winged stilt

A black-tailed godwit was the most interesting of the waders there.

I soon decided  to cross the road and go to the two inland pools.


An osprey flew overhead as I did this.

European roller

An adult European roller was darting about the fields.

northern wheatear

On the way to the second and most inland pool, I came across several wheatears. Finally one of them was a definite northern wheatear. This was another first for me in Oman and my fourth addition to the list on Saturday. Some features that mark it as northern are: strong supercilium, ear coverts darker than crown, no isolated dark alula, grey crown and a tail that reaches the ground. The last feature is new to me following research. It appears Isabelline wheatear are so short tailed that even when standing erect, their tails don't quite make it to the ground.

The back pond was previously unknown to me but thanks go to Belgian Bart for informing me about it. I spent 90 minutes there waiting for some action. Bart had seen a Baillion's crake

I wasn't so successful. There were fifteen or so moorhen.

female northern pintail

As some sort of compensation, I saw my first northern pintail in the country.

There were more gadwell there too.

northern shoveller

It is becoming obvious that these khawr are going to attract many ducks and other waterfowl this winter. One of the last birds I saw before I left for the day was a northern shoveller on the main pool.


  1. Hi Rob, enjoying the blog as always. Learning more about the variations in Striolated and Cinnamon-Breasted, thanks.
    Any more pics of the wheatear? In that shot it looks very like a well-marked Izzy..

    1. ProgBirder,

      Do you mind if I park this issue for a short while. Its a big one for me and I have strong views! However its peak migration and I am birding and blogging every moment when not at work. I have a full time job and its not birding. I promise we can come back to it but Im under the cosh at the minute. Cheers Rob

    2. Heh of course, park it for as long as u like. :-) Glad you've got your priorities right: birding, work then "the other stuff".
      I'm trying to get out every day at the mo, it's an exciting time of year. Good birding!