Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jarziz farm

Bart de Schutter has who is a visiting birder to Oman showed me a location in Salalah yet I am the local.

He showed me the temporary entrance to Jarziz farm yesterday afternoon. This farm is much smaller than of old. Most of it is making way for a huge youth complex.

Nevertheless one very large pivot field remains and two fallow fields are adjacent to it.

The pivot field was in the process of being cut while we were there. Indeed white winged black tern and cattle egret were following the cutting machine round.

female chestnut-bellied sandgrouse

At the edge of the field was had close contact with several black-bellied sandgrouse.

black-bellied sandgrouse walking away

Near-by were both tawny pipit and Richard's pipit.

Richard's pipit

The sound of larks was non-ceasing. The noise was created by both crested lark and singing bush lark. A small number of the latter made aerial displays.

singing bush lark

There were also three types of wheatear: northern wheatear, desert wheatear and Isabelline wheatear.

northern wheatear

A very small number of northern wheatear winter in the farming areas of Salalah but there numbers are increasing at the moment.

second view of northern wheatear

Birds of prey were in evidence. At least six kestrel were present over the field. Two marsh harrier, one Montagu's harrier and one pallid harrier appeared at times.

Ruppell's weaver

There is a very green grassy area with several trees a little away from the main pivot field. As we approached it we realised it was green because of run-off from a large uncovered water-holding tank.

This area added considerably to the diversity of the farm and will probably be a good place to see passage migrants.

Ruppell's weaver, graceful prinia, white spectacled bulbul and common myna were only seen here on the farm. There were also laughing dove and collared dove.

second view of Ruppell's weaver

Cattle egret were perched at the top of the holding tank.

cattle egret

On the banks of the tank were a squacco heron and a grey heron.

more cattle egret

All in all, the farm still has the potential to be a good site. Although it is much smaller than Sahalnoot farm, at least birders can enter. I will visit it again and especially look for passage birds in the near future.

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