Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Khawr Soly in mid April

After visitng Jarziz farm early on Saturday morning I headed to Khawr Soly which I have n't been to for some time.

I was there until 10 am when it got too hot to bird comfortably. This was the earliest finish to a birding session this year but if you don't go into the mountains there is little option.

On arrival I came across a second flock of blue-cheeked bee-eater (the first had been at Jarziz farm).

blue-cheeked bee-eater

Both adult birds and juveniles are duller in winter.  Juveniles are are markedly so. I suspect the bird below found on the same tree is a young one which hasn't fully attained adult plumage yet.

a second blue-cheeked bee-eater

The lagoon itself was not particularly active. All the ducks and coot have left. Only common moorhen was obvious on the water and a couple of marsh terns were flying over.


At this point I moved across to the seaward side of the sand bar separating the fresh water khawr from the sea.

I counted five types of tern there which were representative of both marsh terns and salt water terns.

lesser crested tern

There were ten lesser crested tern resting.

gull-billed tern

There were also two gull-billed tern.

slender-billed gull

Some young slender-billed gull in Dhofar have not yet left to go north. A few of them were here.

white-winged black tern (left)

The first marsh tern I spotted was a white-winged black tern which incidentally shows little sign of moving into summer plumage.

Caspian tern

Three Caspian tern were the biggest bird present.

whiskered tern

The final type of tern was another marsh tern:whiskered tern.

Khawr Soly

Having finished with beach, I turned my attention back to the khawr. two more species were seen. There were now black-winged stilt in the water and Kentish plover on the sand next to the water's edge.

Black-winged stilt

It was already getting very warm and I decided to stop birding and head back to the car. It was then that I spotted another European roller. This was the second of the day yet before that I hadn't seen one since around New Year.

European roller

Next to the car, the most common passage bird this season made an appearance. A rufous bush robin hopped on to a bush.

Rufous bush robin

This coming weekend, I will be birding in the UAE. I hope to find time to bird at least once more here during the week before I go.

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