Wednesday 9 September 2015

Thrush nightingale at Qatbeet

After visiting Dowkah farm last Friday, it was still only 10am. I decided to travel on to Qatbeet while I was in the desert. It is "only" a further 80 kilometres further up the Muscat road.

The garden of Qatbeet Motel is not as good birding as in the past due to clearance of many of the low lying bushes. Nevertheless good birds are still seen and there are a few parts of the gardens with sufficient shade.

After a bite to eat, I started birding around midday which is very hot at this time of year.

thrush nightingale 1

Most of the best birds were clustered around one small area of the garden. It was in the most shaded area but in particularly that part of the shaded patch which also currently benefits from a leaking pipe.

Here I came across a thrush nightingale. This is a rare passage migrant although I saw a few in the Ayns near Salalah last autumn. It is obviously greyer and slightly darker than common nightingale. It also has a much more streaked front.

thrush nightingale 2

There were a few warblers in this patch too. All birds were keeping to cover as best they could and that's why nearly no pictures show straight views clear of the undergrowth. If I had been there early in the morning I am sure things would have been different.

willow warbler

One of the warblers was a willow warbler. This is surprisingly uncommon on migration in Oman in autumn. There was a Eurasian reed warbler there but it evaded my camera.

common whitethroat 1

Two common whitethroat were of the nominate subspecies which I had seen the weekend before too (at Dowkah farm).

common whitethroat 2

There was also the first common whitethroat of one of the eastern subspecies. The female is very bland bird.

eastern whitethroat 1

The majority of common whitethroat seen further south in the Salalah area are from the east.

eastern whitethroat 2

Elsewhere on site, interesting birds were few with a couple of exceptions. One was an Isabelline wheatear.

Isabelline wheatear

The second was a wryneck. This is not only a passage bird in Oman but a wintering one too.


I took the opportunity to drive back towards Salalah during mid-afternoon when the heat was fierce. I managed to stop off at Rabkut as temperatures had cooled down. I will blog about that next.

No comments:

Post a Comment