Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Two Oriental honey buzzards at home

On Monday afternoon after work, I had planned to go birding at Ayn Hmaran popping into East Khawr on the way to see if anything new had occurred.

However, as I was getting into the car to start out I heard a screeching noise from over the road from the car park and above the plantation.

It turned out to be one of those lucky moments in birding.

adult male oriental honey buzzard

Two dark morph adult oriental honey buzzard were passing through and I had my camera.

adult female oriental honey buzzard

They were under heavy moult which is typical of oriental honey buzzard on early migration.

The regional guide describes this bird as a vagrant to Oman and to Saudi Arabia. However several observations in these countries in recent times have cast doubt on this classification. 

I doubled checked the identification in BirdForum where there was unanimous agreement on their identity.

After finally leaving the car park, ten minutes later than expected, I headed to East Khawr.

Western reef heron and African sacred ibis

There was still no change there with hundreds of birds but nothing obviously new.

 The African sacred ibis has been there on and off for over two months now.

male northern pintail

I am taking particular notice of the ducks. Mallard may be a simple species but I haven't seen it in Oman yet and records show some arrive this way in mid to late November. The latest wave are more pintail.

After a short while at east Khawr, I moved on to Ayn Hamran where I stayed until close to dusk.  There are always good sightings there including being one of the best places to see Arabian warbler.

Arabian warbler

This time were two good highlights there. The first was a black-crowned tchagra which gave me prolonged if obscured views.

black-crowned tchagra

The bird was in a large very bush which was being eaten by camels at the time so it was being pushed into a certain direction. Even then it was stealthy.

second view of black-crowned tchagra

It was seen at the bottom end of the Ayn. I had to walk back to the car at the top end. it was here that I saw the last bird of the evening and it was a good one. There was a pale morph male African paradise flycatcher. 

male African paradise flycatcher

The pale morph is supposed rare in Arabia so this was an excellent find. It was a very good end to rewarding late afternoon session.


  1. As you can see from today's blog there is more. Salalah certainly has birds.