Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Juvenile yellow bittern at Mughsail

My last call on Friday was Khawr Mughsail. A quick inspection of the beach section showed nothing surprising so I headed inland to the two pools there. It was the smaller one and the one most inland that held most of the best birds.

Instead of staying in the car facing into the sun as last time, this time I got out on foot. I sat very still with the cliffs behind me overlooking the pool. This meant the sun was behind me too. 

I was very patient. After about thirty minutes a juvenile yellow bittern appeared at the far west end.

first sighting of the yellow bittern

It never left the cover of reeds walking stealthily all the time.

juvenile yellow bittern

It has a longer bill than a little bittern and a juvenile yellow bittern has only rusty streaks on the corn rather than full black one. The overall colouring and patterning is more pastel too.

stealthy yellow bittern

Thanks are due to Bart the birder from Belgium who told me two weeks ago that he had seen yellow bittern there. On my last visit using the car as a hide I failed to see any. I also doubt I wouldn't have stayed so patient without knowing a reward was possible.

male ferruginous duck

The pool also yielded my first ferruginous duck in Oman.

bluethroat on the far bank

There was a bluethroat on the far bank too. This was yet another addition to my list making species 192.

rear view of a distant bluethroat

The pool wasn't finished with there. There was an intermediate egret in the shallow end.

intermediate egret

There were more "normal" birds there as well. Common moorhen were numerous but shy and a grey heron was there throughout.

grey heron

There is a purpose built hide at the larger pool which I use on every visit now. There were many more birds in the larger pool but not of the quality of the back one. Of course this could change on any particular day.

Tufted duck

Three tufted duck were seen near the common moorhen.

Eurasian coot

Eurasian coot numbers are building in Dhofar now. At this pool there were nearly as many coot as common moorhen.

Steppe or greater spotted eagle

Overhead I have seen visiting eagles every time I have been there. This time two eagles appeared together but one is proving difficult to identify but eastern Imperial eagle has been ruled out while the other is a near-adult greater spotted eagle.

greater spotted eagle

I counted four European roller among the land birds this time though the reeds and bushes near the larger lake were a disappointment this time.

European roller

Finally once again I saw Tristram's starling picking out bugs from the backs of camels. 

Tristram's starling on a camel

In the next blog, I will report on a long walk around the east Khawr area but not concentrating on the Khawr. I was pleased with what I saw.

No comments:

Post a Comment