Tuesday 5 April 2016

Tudho and Mazyunah

After Mudhai on Friday my next stop was Tudho. I had a new weapon in my birding kit to try out. I brought a lightweight chair to sit on.

I parked the chair under the shade of one of the few trees and sat for over two hours without moving my feet or body anywhere. I was watching a long water trough all the time.

Birds kept coming and going. One or two stayed around all the time. Yet none of them seemed to notice me except if by mistake they flew almost into me.

crowned sandgrouse finally decide to drink

No more was this true than with sandgrouse. The crowned sandgrouse arrived first at about 10 am. As usual they didn't head straight to the overspill water. Instead they landed about five metres away behind a small hump. They then waited for over 15 minutes, ever vigilant. Yet they failed to notice me.  Finally they moved into drink. It was all over in about two minutes but instead of flying off immediately they turned round and walked off about two metres. Only they did they fly.

While they were drinking I could see the pouches in their months expand with water presumably in order to give to their young.

Incidentally you can see that they pushed out a sand partridge when they drank.

crowned sandgrouse walking away

A few minutes after the crowned sandgrouse had left the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse arrived. There was no messing around for them. They flew to about one metre from the water, immediately marched to it, turned round, walked less than a metre and flew off. All this took two minutes.

chestnut bellied sandgrouse marching towards the water

The pouches in the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse were also filled.

chestnut-bellied sandgrouse

There were four types of wheatear around the water. Three were only seen early and one stayed continuously.

female hooded wheatear

I have seen male hooded wheatear at Tudho before. This was my first sighting of a female here.

male northern wheatear

The other two wheatears that failed to stay around were a male desert wheatear and a male northern wheatear.

Isabelline wheatear with white spectacled bulbul

The one that hung around was an Isabelline wheatear. Though it had no problems we any other birds, it would not tolerate a tree pipit.

tree pipit

It was continually chasing the bird away.

desert lark

Probably the most common bird at the trough was desert lark. They almost all arrived and left as pairs.

sand partridge

The same was also true of sand partridge. I was really pleased they failed to notice me all morning.

rock dove

There was quite a collection of dove visitors. Rock dove were the most frequent followed by laughing dove then European collared dove.

European turtle dove

A single European turtle dove made an appearance. The trough is down the hillside in Wadi Aydam but the small settlement of Tudho itself is up the hill on a plateau. Here at the camel pens I counted five more European turtle dove

house sparrow

My main target species at Tudho which once again failed to turn up. I need to try again on a very hot day so they are thirsty enough to come.

In the last hour was there, only one new species arrived and that was a house sparrow.

hoopoe lark

On the side road back to the main road I saw a hoopoe lark.

My next stop was Mazyunah or more precisely my next series of stops were at Mazyunah.

At the town dump just before the settlement were very few birds but the quality was good. A pair of brown-necked raven were mobbing an adult Egyptian vulture. Some spotted sandgrouse landed right next to the dump while I was there.

There are few accessible green areas in the town itself. However the area around the new multi-purpose hall is worth a visit. I found two rufous bush robin and a very noisy eastern olivaceous warbler

rufous bush robin

There is a small garden just before the roundabout leading to the Yemen border post. Peering over the wall I found a common redstart.

common redstart 1

It was hard work finding any passerine passage during the day but these bits and pieces started to add up.

common redstart 2

The main birding spot at Mazyunah is however the old sewage ponds and the stream leading off it.

pied wheatear

I was a little disappointed. The only obvious passage passerine was a pied wheatear. The ducks had gone and all the eagles bar one young eastern imperial eagle.

The abundant moorhen are resident but the cross section of waders was very similar to my last visit three weeks before. 

common snipe

There were common snipe, ruff and black-winged stilt.

wood sandpiper

However the most numerous wader was wood sandpiper.

Temminck's stint

There were also several little stint and as last time I found just one Temminck's stint.

Drinking trumpeter finch is possible here and near-by yet I didn't see one again. This species is fast becoming my number one nemesis bird in Oman.

No comments:

Post a Comment