Thursday, 12 November 2015

Khawr Rori with Richard and Tom

British birders, Tom Bedford and Richard Campey visited Oman over the past two weeks. I teamed up with them on Monday afternoon to visit Khawr Rori.

This blog looks at the some of the more special birds we saw.

cotton teal

Our visit to the main water body started well. Close to the large numbers of northern shoveller, pintail and garganey was a lone cotton teal. This Indo-Malay bird comes to Dhofar each winter and can be present in small numbers as late as June.

pheasant-tailed jacana

There is an almost identical visiting pattern for pheasant-tailed jacana though some of these may actually also breed locally in early summer. This second Indo-Malay speciality was also present. Two were seen though views were into the sun.

pheasant-tailed jacana 2

We interrupted our water watching to look at a large flock of blue-cheeked bee-eater which turned up. 

blue-cheeked bee-eater

There were at least two dozen. Now is peak time for their passage through Oman.

blue-cheeked bee-eater 2

While we were viewing the bee-eaters, a bird flew right past us. Tom Bedford managed to catch a couple of snaps. Only afterwards was it realised that it was a white-breasted waterhen.

I am grateful to Tom for permission to reproduce his photograph.

 white-breasted waterhen in flight by Tom Bedford

Water-breasted waterhen is yet another Indo-Malay migrant.

distant greater white-fronted goose

Not all the birds in small numbers were Indo-Malay. The single first greater white-fronted goose has arrived from the north Russia. It was associating with the much more numerous flamingo.

greater spotted eagle

A single greater spotted eagle was on site.

pacific golden plover

Black-tailed godwit was one of the most common waders but a few Pacific golden plover were among the most interesting.

I enjoyed birding with Tom and Richard. I hope they enjoyed Oman.