Sunday 10 May 2015

Three seasons at Hamran and Taqah

On Tuesday afternoon, I made one of my regular visits to Ayn Hamran and one of my slightly less regular visits to near-by Taqah.

At Ayn Hamran there were signs of summer. The shining sunbird have already bred . This young bird was begging for food and I saw it fed once by a male.

very young shining sunbird

I observed three grey-headed kingfisher and am assuming that most are back from Africa now.

grey headed kingfisher

I heard my first Dideric cuckoo of the summer. It took me a long time to locate it until I realised it kept flying to the very top branches of the tallest trees. This is something I din't see when I arrived in Dhofar in September. 

Dideric cuckoo

I assume it was looking for a mate and that this is normal behaviour on first arrival.

Dideric cuckoo 2

At Taqah, it was as if I was in a different season. Many of the waders are gaining their summer plumage but still have to migrate to their breeding grounds. It's still spring to them.

Pacific golden plover

The large flock of Pacific golden plover which was there most of winter was still around.

Terek sandpiper

I am seeing more Terek sandpiper than in the winter as they pass through

On the Taqah beach, there were a few sanderling.


Some were gaining summer plumage but one or two still had pure white heads. For those with pure white heads gives the appearance of winter.

curlew sandpiper

Curlew sandpiper are much easier to separate from Dunlin at this time of year with their deep red undersides.

Little stint with Temminck's stint

There is never really much problem in separating little stint from Temminck's stint especially when they are side by side.

lesser sand plover

The lesser sand plover were mostly in breeding plumage but they don't breed here. They must fly north.

ruddy turnstone

There are plenty of ruddy turnstone on the move at the moment.

lesser crested tern

Lesser crested tern is still fairly numerous but this bird like the lesser sand plover breeds further north.

great crested tern

While most of the coastal birds come and go, great crested tern is one of the few which is here all year round.

sooty gull

Sooty gull is also one of the few.

On Wednesday I went up to Muscat on business and stayed the weekend. This gave me a chance to do some birding in northern Oman. I have a series of blogs to post which show what I saw.

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