Saturday 5 September 2015

Cliffs east of Taqah

Persian shearwater has been a nemesis bird for me in Oman. Its the most common shearwater, yet I have only seen the much rarer flesh-footed shearwater and even rarer wedge-tailed shearwater.

I tried again mid-week looking out to sea from cliffs east of Taqah. I failed again. I think it may take a boat trip to be sure.

Bonelli's eagle scares rock doves

There was some unexpected action though when a Bonelli's eagle turned up out of nowhere to terrorise the rock dove on the cliffs.

The wider picture

They scattered far and wide.

Bonelli's eagle with rock dove below

I am not sure whether it took one.

rock dove

The only other birds resting on the cliffs were Tristram's starling which did not seem to react with such panic. I do wonder if they are a lower food preference for Bonelli's eagle and they know it.

Tristram's starling

Up and down the cliffs and on the land above, Forbes-Watson swift were flying continually.

Two Forbes-Watson swift

Out to sea were plenty of sooty gull, great crested tern, bridled tern and red-billed tropicbird.

red-billed tropicbird

All but the bridled tern came close to land. There were other birds out there but my identification skills at long distance prevented me from claiming anything. Nothing resembling a Persian shearwater was among them.

ringed plover

Towards dusk I made a quick call into Khawr Taqah on the way home. The water levels are down and the pools in the middle of the khawr which I chose to visit had dried up. 

It takes time for the water to come down the hills during the monsoon. Indeed the water levels in the khawrs will be highest in a month or so after the khareef weather has finished.

Its been a poor monsoon this year so there is no guarantee this pool will come back.

In the mud where the pools used to be, there were a very few waders: ringed plover, kentish plover and lesser sand plover. There were also three squacco heron. This was not what I had hoped but birding is rarely easy and having reached a respectable country list, all new birds are going to be tough from now on. My hope for this spot was collared pratincole.

common moorhen

It was nearly dusk. It's a little bit early for crakes but I checked the edges of near-by permanent water anyway. Common moorhen was the closest I came.

All in all it was a frustrating evening but I must remember to be patient.

No comments:

Post a Comment