Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Raysut revisited

On Friday morning, I went to Raysut again and visited the lagoons and the treated water lake. I did not go to the rubbish dump this time.

The lagoons were full of white stork and steppe eagle.

white stork

The white stork population has increased since my last visit and I calculate there were over 250 present.  I understand their numbers usually continue to increase for the next month or so.

white storks

There were so many white stork grounded that I made a decision not to take a close look at the other birds in the lagoons. i would have made up to 250 resting white stork fly and that was too much for me. I have no idea what other birds were in the water or at the water side.

Next time  I visit and if there are only a few storks around, I will go to the water's edge.

steppe eagle

There were steppe eagle of all ages scattered on the ground and on the hill side. One of the birders reported last week that there were 810 in the Raysut area though I have not seen numbers quite that high. In the lagoon on Friday I saw about 120. Many would have been nearer the rubbish dump.

juvenile eastern imperial eagle

I looked for exceptions and came across a juvenile Eastern Imperial eagle.

My time in the lagoons was much shorter than planned. I then moved on to the treated water lake.

The interesting terns I found last week had unfortunately moved on.

blue-cheeked bee-eater

Blue-cheeked bee-eater are still passing through and can still be seen near any water body with bushes.

"fulvescens" greater spotted eagle

Although I had left the parts of Raysut were most of the eagles can be found, a small number drifted over this area. One was a "fulvescens" greater spotted eagle

second view of "fulvescens" greater spotted eagle

I sent these pictures to BirdForum which established they were the fulvescens variant of greater spotted eagle.

head-on view of "fulvescens" greater spotted eagle

Meanwhile back on the ground, I didn't find any new additions to my Oman list at the treated water lake.

However, there were flamingo there for the first time.

juvenile little grebe

More evidence that little grebe breed there with the presence of a juvenile little grebe.

Daurian shrike

In September all the red-tailed shrike were Turkestan shrike in the Salalah area. Slowly the proportion which are Daurian shrike has increased but Turkestan is still more common.

two common snipe

One of the better moments at the treated water lake was the views of two common snipe. I managed to get close to them without them noticing. This is always tricky with snipe.

common snipe

This lake is one of the best places in Dhofar I have been to to guarantee the presence of snipes.

second view of common snipe

After leaving the lake I headed further east to Khawr Mughsail which is 40 kilometres out of the city.

The birding here proved to be excellent. I had prolonged views of one difficult bird in particular. I will blog about Mughsail next.

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