Thursday 3 September 2015

Khawr Rori in late August

On Saturday, I went to Khawr Rori and arrived at 9am at the main site when opens to the public. It was a grey morning with some drizzle. Indeed it was a typical khareef (monsoonal) day for a coastal location.

The relatively weather made the birding easy. Sadly the khareef is about to end and temperatures in the Salalah area will rise again before winter sets in.

Birding got off to a good start even before I entered the main site. I saw two yellow bittern at the north west corner of the site which can be approached from the main road.

Inside I picked up two red-knobbed coot very quickly in the northern section of the khawr. They have breed at West Khawr in recent years but are being seen increasingly at Khawr Rori.

two red-knobbed coot

In the same area as the red-knobbed coot were a scattering of waders.

greenshank, little stint and red-knobbed coot

These were black-tailed godwit, common greenshank, common redshank, wood sandpiper and little stint. There were also grey heron and squacco heron in the area.

Plenty of Forbes-Watson swift and a few pale crag martin were also flying over.

black-crowned night heron

In the far north of the khawr two black-crowned night heron were observed.

For once the middle section of the khawr based around two preserved dhows was poor for birds. It is often one of the best spots.

As a result, I quickly moved south to the sandbar which separates the khawr from the sea. 


Not many flamingo over-summer in Oman but half a dozen or so did at Khawr Rori and this time could be seen in the southern section.

greenshank and broad-billed sandpiper

By far the most common bird on the sandbar was sooty gull. However there were also more waders and some terns.

black-winged stilt

Among the waders were black-winged stilt which is present all year round.

black-tailed godwit

Black-tailed godwit were in both the northern and southern sections. Most were already in winter plumage though some had remains of summer plumage.

black-tailed godwit 2

The sandbar had another greenshank and a marsh sandpiper.

marsh sandpiper

There was another wood sandpiper.

wood sandpiper

There was also a single sanderling. This bird is normally seen in flocks. Singles are unusual.


It was a day of single birds. There was just one curlew.


Two pacific golden plover and two grey plover were also observed.

grey plover

This is very early for pacific golden plover but two others were seen at East Khawr by Jens and Hanne Eriksen the same morning. There will be plenty more very soon.

sandwich tern (centre)

Alongside the numerous sooty gull on the sandbar were many greater crested tern. Both these are resident breeders in the area. 

I looked hard as usual for any other species among them.

I found two. One was a sandwich tern. A small number over-summer.

Caspian tern

The second was a Caspian tern which could be the first of its type to starting wintering here or could be on passage. 

Khawr Rori is an ever changing scene. Soon a lot more wintering birds will arrive.

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