omtrip4

Oman Trip Report
17 to 31 March 2001

General Remarks

Flight: KLM Berlin-Muscat via Amsterdam.
Pre-rented car from Holiday Autos (Toyota Corolla A/C).
Of course you can visit more places in a 4WD, but  roads are in excellent shape, and many graded tracks are OK for  "saloon cars".
The weather conditions were excellent: fair skies, sometimes overcast, temperatures ranging between 19 and 36 C degrees.
In Dhofar it was  humid, but not too bad.
Hotel rooms  were very clean and reasonably priced (if compared to German standards). It is no problem to find accommodation.
 

Books

Porter/Christensen/Schiermacker-Hansen: Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East, ISBN 0-85661-076-3
Kabasci/Franzisky: Oman, ISBN 3-89662-100-9 (Excellent general Travel Guide in German language)

Oman Bird List, compiled by Jens Eriksen and Dave E. Sargeant, Oman Bird Record Committee, P.O.Box 246, Muscat 113, Sultanate of Oman

Itinerary

We arrived on the 17th at mid-night. A cab took us to Naseem Hotel which we would impossibly hauve found on our own. From the hotel we had a beautiful view on the Mutrah harbor, and in the weak light of a lamp Larus hemprichii entered as the first new species.

Mutrah 18.03.01
Next day we walked around in Mutrah, met for the first time Kilian Weixler and his sister, who many times during this trip crossed our way,  always pleasant company for birding. Early afternoon we picked up our car that first took us to Al Ansab Lagoon. The most common bird there was the familiar Cormorant.  We also saw two Egytian vultures and a Marsh harrier,  no eagles, but Isabelline Shrike, Red-wattled Plover, a Red-rumped swallow (rare migrant), and heard a Little Crake.

Batinah 19.03.01
We went to Ras as Sawadi (very pleasant) and Al Suwayq (disappointing). Indian Roller was a constant company along the roads. The contrasts between the farm lands and desert like landscapes was impressive. We saw  Lesser and Greater Sand Plover side by side,  Lesser Crested Tern, European and Little Green Bee-eater, Grey Francolin. On our return we paid a second visit to  Al Ansab which this time produced a beautifully spotted Spotted Eagle. In the evening we met Dave Sargeant and Panadda of the Oman Bird Group at their home, who provided us with sandwiches and a lot of extremely helpful informations. Thank  you!  
 
Trip to Nizwa 20.03.01
In the morning we payed a visit to the Sunup dump, where 30-40 eagles and about the same number of vultures waited for us. The eagles were Spotted and Steppe, but there also was a Lesser Spotted. Among the vultures there were two huge  Lapped-faced. In Nizwa, in the late afternoon , we visited the fort  and were almost forgotten and locked in.

Trip to Salalah 21.03.01
We set out early, stopped at all the rest houses along the road to look for  migrants, and arrived at Salalah before dawn. Along the road we met several small groups of sandgrouse but only twice were quick enough to determine the species. At the rest houses  Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Orphean Warbler and Red-breasted Flycathcher were migrant, and we enjoyed Hoopoe Lark, Black-crowned Finch Lark and Desert Lark. In the mountains before Salalah we had a Hobby, a South Arabian Wheatear, Fan-tailed Raven, and, entering Salalah, a male Marsh Harrier and a first Tristram Grackle crossing the street right before us.

Salalah 21.03.01 - 28.03.01
We visited the Salalah Khor as long as the police would let us, the Dahariz Khor, and the Sun Farm, where a close view of a Saker was the highlight. We made several excursions to the Khors at  Suli, Rouri and Mughsayl, as well as into the mountains, where we had several beautiful Imperial Eagles. We visited the springs, e.g. El Hamran which, as Dave had promissed, really offered all the Dhofar specialties: Arabian Partridge,  Blackstart,  White-breasted White-eye, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Paradise Flycatcher,  Shining and Palestine Sunbird, Arabian Warbler, African Rock Bunting. In the mountains the sinkhole (giant collapsed cave) at Tawi Attair had a fascinating atmosphere. We watched a pair of Bonelli's Eagle for a long time and from very short distances, while the Yemen Serrins could be discovered only if you knew in advance its presence in the walls of the hole. Birds we missed in the South were the Pheasant-tailed Jacana and Verraux's Eagle.

Way back to Nizwa 28.03.01
On the way we payed a visit to the Thumrait dump, where four Steppe Eagles and an Egyptian Vulture were found. The rest houses added  Lesser White-throat, Short-toed Lark, a beuatiful Masked Shrike, Rufous Bush Robin and Red-throated Pipits to the list of migrants.  

Mutrah 29.03.01 - 31.03.01
From Mutrah we went for a day trip to Quriat, where  more that 50 Great Black-headed Gulls waited on the shore. We did not manage to get into the Qurm Park, because it opened in the later afternoon  only. But from the fence toward the main road we encountered Grey Francolin, White-cheeked Bulbul, a Pallid Harrier, Ring-necked Parakeet, Scaly-breasted Munia and  a  Common Waxbill.

 

Bird List

  • C = Capital Area, B = Batinah, S = Salalah, K = Dhofar Khors, R = Rest Houses Desert  on the Route Nizwa-Salalah, Q = Quriat
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Zwergtaucher several C, K
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigriollis Schwarzhalstaucher 1 C: Al Ansab
Masked Booby Sula dactylatra Maskentölpel many S
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster Weißbauchtölpel several S
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Kormoran many C: Al Ansab
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis Schwarzgesichts\-scharbe many S
Squacco Heron Ardeola Ralloides Rallenreiher several K
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Kuhreiher 1 C: Al Ansab
Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis Küstenreiher common C, S, K
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Seidenreiher several C,S, K
Great White Egret Egretta alba Silberreiher few C, K
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Graureiher common C, K
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Purpurreiher 4 S, Khor Mughsayl
White Stork Ciconia ciconia Wei§storch 5 Dump Q
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Braunsichler groups up to 7 C, K
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Löffler 11 K
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber Rosaflamingo common S
Wigeon Anas penelope Pfeifente common Q, S
Gadwall Anas strepera Schnatterente only (2,2) Q
Teal Anas crecca Krickente few C
Mallard Anas platyrynchos Stockente several C, K
Pintail Anas acuta Spießente common C, K
Garganey Anas querquedula Knäkente common K
Shoveler Anas clypeate Löffelente many C, K
Pochard Aythya ferina Tafelente K
Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus Schmutzgeier many, >50 at Q C, S, Q: Dumps 
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos Ohrengeier several C: Sunup, Thumrait 
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Rohrweihe several, mostly female type, 
but 1 adult male at S: Sunfarm
C, S
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Steppenweihe 2 and 2 other ring-tailed harriers C
Lesser spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina Schreiadler 2 C: Sunup (sub)ad., Adam imm.
Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Schelladler many, imm. C: Sunup, Q
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Steppenadler several, mostly imm. C: Sunup, Thumrait dump
Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Kaiseradler several, all imm. Dhofar mountains
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Schlangenadler 1 S: Khor Rouri
Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus Habichtsadler 4 Dhofar mountains
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Fischadler common S
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Turmfalke common S
Hobby Falco subbuteo Baumfalke 1 Dhofar mountains
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug Sakerfalke 1 S: Sun Farm
Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala Schwarzkopf-Steinhuhn several groups of up to 5 birds S
Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus Wachtelfrankolin 2 groups of 2 or 3 C, B
Little Crake Porzana parva Kleines Sumpfhuhn 1 C: Al Ansab
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Teichhuhn common mainly S
Coot Fulica atra Bläßralle few C, S
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus Austernfischer several C, B, S, K
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus StelzenlSufer several Q, K
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Flußregenpfeifer few K
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula Sandregenpfeifer several S, K
Kentdish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Seeregenpfeifer several B, K
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii Wüstenregenpfeifer 1 B
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus Mongolenregenpfeifer 3 B, Q
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva Pazif. Goldregenpfeifer few K, Q
Red-wattled Plover Holopterus indicus Rotlappenkiebitz many C, Q
Dunlin Calidris alpina AlpenstrandlSufer several C, K
Little Stint Calidris minuta ZwergstrandlSufer few S
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinage Bekassine several C, K
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa Uferschnepfe several K
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica Pfuhlschnepfe 1 C
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus Regenbrachvogel 2 S
Curlew Numenius arquata Gr. Brachvogel several C, B, S, K
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus Dunkelwasserläufer several C
Redshank Tringa totanus Rotschenkel several K
Greenshank Tringa nebularia Grünschenkel common C, B, S, K
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Teichwasserläufer 1 Q
Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus Waldwasserläufer 1 C: Al Ansab
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Bruchwasserläufer common C, K
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Flußuferläufer common C, K, Q
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii Hemprichmöwe abundant C, S
Great Black-Headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus Fischmöwe >50 Q
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus Lachmöwe common C
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei Dünnschnabelmöwe many K
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinans Weißkopfmöwe several C
Armenian Gull Larus armenicus Armeniermöwe several Q
Swift Tern Sterna bergii Eilseeschwalbe many C, S, K
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis Rüppellseeschwalbe some B
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis Brandseeschwalbe many S
White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa Weißwangen\-seeschwalbe 60 S
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus Weißbartseeschwalbe 3 C: Al Ansab
Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus Kronenflughuhn 5 Desert
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus Braunbauchflughuhn 6+25 Desert, Ain Hamran
Sandgrouse spec. Pterocles spec. Flughuhn spec. 12 Desert
Rock Dove Colomba livia Felsentaube many Dhofar mountains
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto Türkentaube common C, S
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Palmtaube abundant  
Bruce's Green Pigeon Treron waalia Waaliataube 1 Ain Hamran
Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri Halsbandsittich 4 C: Qurm, Al Ansab
Common Swift Apus apus Mauersegler few C
Palid Swift Apus pallidus Fahlsegler few C
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Eisvogel 1 Q
Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis Smaragdspint 6 B
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Bienenfresser common B
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis Bengalenracke common C, B
Hoopoe Upupa epops Wiedehopf 1 C: Al Ansab
Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans Buschlerche 1 S: Sun Farm
Black-crowned Fich Lark Eremopterix nigriceps Weißstirnlerche many R, S
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti Steinlerche 1 R
Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes Wüstenläuferlerche several R
Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla Kurzzehenlerche several R
Crested Lark Galerida cristata Haubenlerche abundant  
African Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula Steinschwalbe many C, Nizwa, Dhofar mountains
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Rauchschwalbe 3 Al Ansab, R
Red-rumped Swallow Hinrundo daucaria Rstelschwalbe 1 Al Ansab
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris Brachpieper 2 R
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis Baumpieper 1 Al Ansab
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus Rotkehlpieper 3+5 R, Q
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Schafstelze several C
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola citreola Zitronenstelze 3 Al Ansab
White Wagtail Motacilla alba Bachstelze several  
White-cheeked Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys Weißohrbülbül 2 C: Qurm
Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos Gelbsteißbülbül abundant  
Rufous Bush Robin Cercotrichas galactoes Heckensänger 1 R
Blackstart Cercomela melanura Schwarzschwanz several Dhofar springs
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina Isabellschmätzer several R
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Steinschmätzer 1 R
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti Wüstensteinschmätzer several Dhofar
South Arabian Wheatear Oenanthe lugentoides   2 S, R
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha Kappensteinschmätzer pair with juv. Tawi Attair
Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis Streifenprinie common  
Scrub warbler Scotocerca inquieta Wüstenprinie 1 Nizwa
Clamorous Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Stentorrohrsänger 1 S
Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena Akaziengrasmücke 1 Ain Hamran
Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis Orpheusgrasmücke 1 R
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca Klappergrasmücke 6-10 R
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva Zwergfliegenschnäpper 1 R
African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Afrikanischer 
Paradiesschnäpper
several Dhofar springs
Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps Graudrossling several C: Al Ansab
Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica Purpur-Nektarvogel several S
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica Abessinischer Nektarvogel several Dhofar springs
Palestine Sunbird Nectarinia osea Jericho-Nektarvogel several Dhofar springs
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinica Somalibrillenvogel several Dhofar springs
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala Senegaltschagra 1 Ain Hamran
Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus Isabellwürger many C, S
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus Maskenwürger 1 R
House Crow Corvus splendens Glanzkrähe abundant C, B
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis  Wüstenrabe many Northern Oman
Fan-tailed Raven Corvus rhipidurus Borstenrabe many Dhofar mountains
Tristram's Grackle Onychgnathus tristramii Tristramstar common Dhofar mountains
Common Mynah Acridotheres tristis Hirtenmaina common C
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Haussperling common  Northern Oman, 
missing in the south
Rüppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula Gilbweber many S, Dhofar springs
Indian Silverbill Euodice malabrica Malabarfasänchen, 
Indischer Silberschnabel
few C
African Silverbill Euodice cantans Afrikanischer Silberschnabel several S, Dhofar mountains
Yemen Serrin Serinus menachensis Yemen-Girlitz 3 Tawi Attair
African Rock Bunting Emberiza tahapisi Bergammer common Dhofar springs and mountains
Escapes
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild Wellenastrild 1 C: Qurm
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata Muskatamadine 3 C: Qurm

Dirk and Regina Ferus
ferus@math.tu-berlin.de