Tuesday, 23 December 2014

December round up at Ayn Hamran

I now have a clear idea what my Nemesis birds are in Dhofar having been here for four months. Nemesis birds are those you should have seen given the effort but it just hasn't happened. 

My two are Arabian golden winged grosbeck and Verreaux's eagle. 

Ayn Hamran is one of the best places to see the former and the latter has been seen flying over there too.

I visit Ayn Hamran about three times a week mostly in the early morning but have had no success with these birds.

Ironically black-crowned tchagra was a Nemesis bird for me in Saudi Arabia but I see it regularly at Ayn Hamran without difficulty.

black crowned tchagra yesterday

Yesterday I saw three groups including one out in the open in a tree.

Turkestan shrike

Another highlight from yesterday morning was a smart male Turkestan shrike. This is more evidence that some Turkestan shrike stay the winter (and not just Daurian shrike).

Arabian warbler from December 12th

Ayn Hamran is a good place to see Arabian warbler. I did so on every visit in December.

masked shrike

In early November I saw a masked shrike there and I saw it again on December 12th. Others have reported it in between times. This species occasionally winters in south west Arabia presumably including southern Oman.

African silverbill on December 12th

Of course the main birds at Ayn Hamran are none of the above. They include Ruepell's weaver, African silverbill, blackstart and Abyssinian white-eye.

spotted flycatcher

Going back earlier in the month, I observed a spotted flycatcher on December 5th. This was a seriously late passage. It was over two weeks later than the previous one.

second view of spotted flycatcher

I will keep visiting Ayn Hamran. One day I will see the grosbeck even if I have to wait to the Khareef season when there are records of high numbers there. 


  1. Had missed your posts for a couple of days - glad to hear you're still out birding. Are you getting any time off soon? Wondering if you're planning a trip to the sites near the UAE border/Musandam any time.

  2. Nice blog Buddy. I was in Oman in december too and it is great to see you have got some good birds there. Here are the birding stories from Oman on my blog http://naturemonitoring.com/?s=oman

  3. Iordan, thanks for your comment. BTW I already have a link to your blog on the right side of my home page under Oman resources. Rob