Thursday, 20 November 2014

A walk near East Khawr

On Saturday I stayed close to home with a walk in the area around East Khawr. I started in the bush north of the Khawr, walked passed the khawr and into Dahariz Park.

I got off to a good start seeing a family group of spotted thick-knee under a tree.

I have seen spotted thick-knee regularly in Salalah but never in the car.

one adult spotted thick-knee

The two adults were either side of the juvenile which was further under the tree.

the other adult spotted thick-knee

There are no spots, only streaks on juveniles birds.

juvenile spotted thick-knee

I turned away for a moment and when I turned back the juvenile must have walked into deeper cover. All I could see was the two adults looking like they were standing guard.

spotted thick-knees

Apart from the thick-knees the bush held remarkably few birds although I did spot a Namaqua dove along with the normal array of collared dove and laughing dove.

blue-cheeked bee-eater

A small flock of blue-cheeked bee-eater dropped down for a short while too.

marsh harrier

The khawr was not the primary object of my viewing on Saturday. As I walked passed I saw two greater spotted eagle and four marsh harrier. At the seaward end were a typical group of a few hundred waders of which ruff and Kentish plover were the most common. Obviously I made a quick scan for any thing extraordinary.

flamingo squabbling

There are still increasing numbers of flamingo in the lagoon which now include several adults. There seem to be squabbles going on between them with lots of posturing.

two flamingo give ground

The three greater white fronted goose were still there and are quite tame.

greater white fronted goose

Three hundred metres west of East Khawr (Khawr Dahariz according to the locals) is Dahariz Park. I have visited there before chiefly to look for passerines.

Dahariz Park

Indeed that is what I was looking for on Saturday.

yellow wagtail

There were plenty of yellow wagtail, white wagtail and Ruepell's weaver as expected. There was also lots of noise from the resident Indian house crow.

Suddenly they flushed the target they were mobbing. It was a dark morph male Crested honey buzzard. The tail pattern is quite characteristic.

male crested honey buzzard

As I moved round the park, I came across a second crested honey buzzard which was an adult female. This time the gorget is quite diagnostic as the tail pattern is similar to a male European honey buzzard.

female honey buzzard

The photo above shows the tail pattern whereas the photo below is a more classic pose.

second view of female crested honey buzzard

There is a strong possibility these were the same two birds I saw in flight over my home five days before.

Ruepell's weaver

The buzzards were eventually chased out of the park by the crows and I returned to looking at smaller birds. This young male Ruepell's weaver made me wonder if they breed twice a year. certainly they breed in the khareef season (monsoon) in summer but will they breed again in early spring which is February here. 


Parks are among the best places to see wintering hoopoe.


Finally, having seen my first bluethroat in Oman the day before, one popped up in the park. It was much more approachable too.

During the week, I have been taking a closer look at Sawnowt farm, I 'll report on that in the next blog.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.