Monday, 5 January 2015

Mid winter at Khawr Rori

I visit Khawr Rori about once a week. It's little bit far for mid-week trips after work so I tend to go on weekends.

I have been looking for a long-billed dowitcher which was reported about a month ago and then again last week. So far I have failed to find it. Nevertheless Khawr Rori is a very large expanse of fresh water and other new birds could turn up at any time.

pheasant-tailed jacana

It is the place where pheasant-tailed jacana can be most easily seen. I counted eight on my last visit. Only Khawr Taqah comes close.

black-winged stilt with pheasant-tailed jacana

Other Indo-Malay wintering species can be found here too such as cotton teal. You need to look carefully as their are hundreds of other ducks and plenty of geese to distract you.

cotton teal

Among the large birds, the number of greater flamingo and great cormorant has continued to rise.

great cormorant with a grey heron

There are always plenty of herons including intermediate egret and great white egret at this time of year. Though western reef heron is the most common along with grey heron.

western reef heron

I have been paying particular attention to the groups of black-tailed godwit at the Khawr.

black-tailed godwit

This is because the long-billed dowitcher was seen associating with a group in one of its sightings. On Saturday, I followed a group of eleven (11) godwits and checked them one by one. Unfortunately the dowitcher wasn't there.


Sometimes, I have seen other single birds near the groups. A single ruff was with them on one occasion (whereas at East Khawr you can see more than two hundred some days).

marsh sandpiper

On Saturday, I came across a lone marsh sandpiper while tracking them.

marsh sandpiper probing

This elegant bird is always a pleasure to watch.

marsh sandpiper standing

As well as keeping an eye out for godwits and dowitchers, I have spent time near dusk looking for crakes and waterhen but again I have not been successful at this site (though I have seen Baillon's crake at two other sites).


There is a second approach to part of Khawr Rori which is accessed directly from the main road. This leads to a small fringe wetland rather than the main lake. I saw my first pied cuckoo in Oman there a couple of months ago.

little stint

It was good to be able to directly compare a Little stint and Temminck's stint there on one visit.

two types of stint

They are quite distinctly different. You can see the Temminck's stint is plainer, has yellower legs and has a fuller breast pattern (though pale).

Temminck's stint and little stint

Once a month, I take a long trip into the desert to see a different set of birds. I did this on Sunday which was a holiday here. It turned out to be very eventful. The next two blogs will cover the trip.

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