Wednesday 26 November 2014

Wadi Rabkoot

One Saturday I took one of my infrequent trips north out of the relatively green Salalah area and into the desert. My destination was Mudayy oasis but I spotted off at Wadi Rbkoot on the way.

The time I went there about six weeks ago I believe I saw only one European collared dove in total. I can't recall any other birds.

This time there were plenty more. It was also about 8C cooler which is better for birds and the birder.

Asian desert warbler

I am now starting to think in terms of target birds for the first time I Oman. My target here was Asian desert warbler and it was easily seen. Indeed it was the most common bird in the wadi. This was bird number 197 on my country list.

Asian grey shrike (aucheri)

My previous encounters with Asian grey shrike (aucheri) have both been on farms. This was my first look at one in a more natural environment. I saw two here.

Asian grey shrike (aucheri)

The bird was as tame I as I knew them in Saudi Arabia.


Given that I saw so little last time and much more this time is because they were mostly wintering birds. However blackstart was one of the exceptions and I don't understand how I missed it last time.

Isabelline wheatear

The wintering included Isabelline wheatear and desert wheatear.

Desert wheatear

Another bird which I might have seen last time but didn't was black crowned sparrow lark even this time I only observed one though plenty were seen near-by.

black-crowned sparrow lark

Most birders probably visit this wadi for two reasons: its just off the main Muscat to Salalah road and the occasional African collared dove have been reported.

 European collared dove in the wadi

I saw four collared dove in the area in total. Two were in the wadi itself and two were at the junction of the main road to Muscat and the Rabkoot turn off. All four were European collared dove.

two European collared dove at Rabkoot turn off

I was pleased that one of the doves opened its wings as I photographed. The white under-wing is the same colour as the belly in an African collared dove. By comparison with the under-wing colour  you can see the belly is dirty pink in this bird. In strong sunlight it is quite difficult to tell. 

After this  I made straight for Mudayy oasis. The next blog is about there.

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