Monday, 24 November 2014

Baillon's crake and White tailed lapwing at Khawr Soly

On Thursday I went to Khawr Soly again. I like this Khawr because it is less busy than the others near by and because it has given me so many good birds so far.

Baillon's crake

From about 4.30 pm I was privileged to have prolonged views of a Baillon's crake there. I wasn't really equipped for it in the sense of still wearing my work shirt and having no hide other than part of a bush to break up my shape. However by keeping still I went undetected or at least seen as no threat.

Baillon's crake

I was helped by the height of the grass too which was relatively low. I have learned that this juvenile is quite easily separately from juvenile little crake by the brown head and buff belly. A similar aged little crake has pale, almost white cheeks and a paler belly too. 

rear of Baillon's crake showing primary projection

The primary projection of Baillon's crake is very short compared with little crake as well.

White tailed lapwing

Not long earlier  I had come across my first white-tailed lapwing in Oman.

White tailed lapwing

This bird also allowed very good views though was rather inactive.

There are three quite distinct sections to this khawr. The Baillon's crake was seen in the part closest to the sea while the lapwing was in the most inland section.

This was only the second time I had visited the inland section and I regret not looking at it closer before.

Marsh sandpiper

There was a large array of different waders including common sandpiper, wood sandpiper, marsh sandpiper (one), green sandpiper, dunlin, Temminck's stint and little stint.

Wood sandpiper (right)

Both common redshank and common greenshank were also present.

common redshank

Some larger water birds were there. There was one immature flamingo, one little egret, one intermediate egret, two reef heron and five grey heron.


The two European spoonbill seen last time there were still around.

two European spoonbill

A common sight of all khawrs over the last three weeks have been blue-cheeked bee-eater.

blue-cheeked bee-eater

There was a variety of birds of prey too. The largest was an Eastern Imperial eagle.

Upper side of Eastern Imperial eagle

It is a little unusual to see one at a khawr.

Under side of Eastern Imperial eagle

An osprey rested there for some while.


Much more active were a marsh harrier and a Montagu's harrier.

Montagu's harrier

I deserted the coast at the weekend for more inland locations where the birding was equally good but quite different. The next three blogs will look at these trips.

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