Wednesday 6 May 2015

The odd couple at Raysut

I have been visiting Raysut settling pools once a week and during the working week for some time now. This time I went on Monday. You can guarantee bird activity even in the heat of late afternoon because of the water.

One intriguing observation is the presence still of the vagrant spur-winged lapwing which has been there several months.

spur-winged lapwing

It is not alone. It is invariably with a red-wattled lapwing. 

During the winter there were up to 10 red-wattled lapwing present but the others have long gone presumably north east to breeding grounds in northern Oman. If the spur-winged lapwing knows where its normal range is it would fly west, north west or north.

red-wattled lapwing

The red-wattled lapwing is always in the lead. It calls and the spur-winged lapwing follows.

Their ranges don't normally overlap even in winter. This is a very strange situation.


Very few other wintering birds remain except for the rather obvious flock of immature flamingo.

house crow

The resident house crow see them these birds come and go. They try to rule the area with mobbing tactics but I have seen them take hits too. On one occasion, a young wadi dog caught one and ate it. On another occasion, a cat climbed into a crow's nest and stole the contents. Each time I was alerted to the action by a large number of screaming crows.

black-winged stilt

The number of waders had thinned out at least for the moment although I am uncertain if the black-winged stilt will remain.

wood sandpiper

The two main other waders were wood sandpiper and little stint.

little stint with a common sandpiper

A single common sandpiper was also observed.

little stint

Two greenshank were seen in opposite parts of the site.

common greenshank

The passerine passage continues though the same main birds were seen as in the previous week.

spotted flycatcher

These were spotted flycatcher, European roller and marsh warbler. There were more of the former and less of the latter two birds than the week before.

European roller

Having left, Raysut settling pools, I made a short stop at East Khawr (Khawr Dahariz) which is close to my home. It was very close to sunset.

greater white-fronted goose

The least ordinary observation was a lingering greater white-fronted goose. Though I fear for it. Geese which remain in the wintering grounds this late don't have a good record of survival.

On Tuesday morning very early and before work I headed to Jarziz farm. This was a successful visit. I will blog about that next.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Dr. Rob I'm one of your old students back in Saudi. I'd love to contact you, but I lost your email. I will be happy if you can provide it to me.
    Best wishes