Sunday, 1 February 2015

Late winter at Raysut settling pools

Just as I used to find in Riyadh, there is a period of about a month in late winter when bird life is fairly settled with few arrivals and departures in any particular place. The spring passage then starts.

Although I hadn't visited the Raysut settling pools for about 3 weeks, little had changed although I had better views of some birds. These included four steppe eagle which allowed close approach.

first steppe eagle

They were all sitting out inside the settling pool fences.

second steppe eagle takes off

Steppe eagle is by far the most common eagle in the area in winter.

second steppe eagle in the air

The Abdim's stork were still present.

An Abdim's stork

A very large number of them were taking an interest in the dried fertiliser that comes out of the settling pools. It was being moved and both Abdim's stork and cattle egret had arrived to inspect the displaced grubs.

Abdim's stork

Three greater white fronted goose were also still present. Nearly all geese that make it to southern Oman are first winter and most are now showing more adult markings.

two greater white fronted goose

Red-wattled lapwing and a single spur-winged lapwing have also not moved on since my last visit.

two red-wattled lapwing

I always check the hirundines at the settling pools. The big majority are barn swallow. Occasionally there is the odd sand martin but I have yet to find a red-rumped swallow there or elsewhere in Dhofar.

barn swallow

At this time of year there are types of wagtail at the pools: citrine wagtail, yellow wagtail and white wagtail.

yellow wagtail

In the settling pools themselves are plenty of black-headed gull and a few ducks.


Two species surprised me by seemingly actively feeding in the (very dirty) pools. Two young flamingo ducked their heads in several times.

little grebe

A little grebe also dived under on several occasions.

Very soon the passage will start and I wonder what birds will pass through these pools then.

1 comment:

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