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.


Porter/Christensen/Schiermacker-Hansen: Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East, ISBN 0-85661-076-3Kabasci/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


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 GrebeTachybaptus ruficollisZwergtaucherseveralC, K
Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigriollisSchwarzhalstaucher1C: Al Ansab
Masked BoobySula dactylatraMaskentölpelmanyS
Brown BoobySula leucogasterWeißbauchtölpelseveralS
CormorantPhalacrocorax carboKormoranmanyC: Al Ansab
Socotra CormorantPhalacrocorax nigrogularisSchwarzgesichts\-scharbemanyS
Squacco HeronArdeola RalloidesRallenreiherseveralK
Cattle EgretBubulcus ibisKuhreiher1C: Al Ansab
Western Reef HeronEgretta gularisKüstenreihercommonC, S, K
Little EgretEgretta garzettaSeidenreiherseveralC,S, K
Great White EgretEgretta albaSilberreiherfewC, K
Grey HeronArdea cinereaGraureihercommonC, K
Purple HeronArdea purpureaPurpurreiher4S, Khor Mughsayl
White StorkCiconia ciconiaWei§storch5Dump Q
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellusBraunsichlergroups up to 7C, K
SpoonbillPlatalea leucorodiaLöffler11K
Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus ruberRosaflamingocommonS
WigeonAnas penelopePfeifentecommonQ, S
GadwallAnas streperaSchnatterenteonly (2,2)Q
TealAnas creccaKrickentefewC
MallardAnas platyrynchosStockenteseveralC, K
PintailAnas acutaSpießentecommonC, K
GarganeyAnas querquedulaKnäkentecommonK
ShovelerAnas clypeateLöffelentemanyC, K
PochardAythya ferinaTafelenteK
Egyptian vultureNeophron percnopterusSchmutzgeiermany, >50 at QC, S, Q: Dumps 
Lappet-faced VultureTorgos tracheliotosOhrengeierseveralC: Sunup, Thumrait 
Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosusRohrweiheseveral, mostly female type, 
but 1 adult male at S: Sunfarm
C, S
Pallid HarrierCircus macrourusSteppenweihe2 and 2 other ring-tailed harriersC
Lesser spotted EagleAquila pomarinaSchreiadler2C: Sunup (sub)ad., Adam imm.
Spotted EagleAquila clangaSchelladlermany, imm.C: Sunup, Q
Steppe EagleAquila nipalensisSteppenadlerseveral, mostly imm.C: Sunup, Thumrait dump
Imperial EagleAquila heliacaKaiseradlerseveral, all imm.Dhofar mountains
Short-toed EagleCircaetus gallicusSchlangenadler1S: Khor Rouri
Bonelli’s EagleHieraaetus fasciatusHabichtsadler4Dhofar mountains
OspreyPandion haliaetusFischadlercommonS
KestrelFalco tinnunculusTurmfalkecommonS
HobbyFalco subbuteoBaumfalke1Dhofar mountains
Saker FalconFalco cherrugSakerfalke1S: Sun Farm
Arabian PartridgeAlectoris melanocephalaSchwarzkopf-Steinhuhnseveral groups of up to 5 birdsS
Grey FrancolinFrancolinus pondicerianusWachtelfrankolin2 groups of 2 or 3C, B
Little CrakePorzana parvaKleines Sumpfhuhn1C: Al Ansab
MoorhenGallinula chloropusTeichhuhncommonmainly S
CootFulica atraBläßrallefewC, S
OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegusAusternfischerseveralC, B, S, K
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopusStelzenlSuferseveralQ, K
Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubiusFlußregenpfeiferfewK
Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticulaSandregenpfeiferseveralS, K
Kentdish PloverCharadrius alexandrinusSeeregenpfeiferseveralB, K
Greater Sand PloverCharadrius leschenaultiiWüstenregenpfeifer1B
Lesser Sand PloverCharadrius mongolusMongolenregenpfeifer3B, Q
Pacific Golden PloverPluvialis fulvaPazif. GoldregenpfeiferfewK, Q
Red-wattled PloverHolopterus indicusRotlappenkiebitzmanyC, Q
DunlinCalidris alpinaAlpenstrandlSuferseveralC, K
Little StintCalidris minutaZwergstrandlSuferfewS
Common SnipeGallinago gallinageBekassineseveralC, K
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosaUferschnepfeseveralK
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponicaPfuhlschnepfe1C
WhimbrelNumenius phaeopusRegenbrachvogel2S
CurlewNumenius arquataGr. BrachvogelseveralC, B, S, K
Spotted RedshankTringa erythropusDunkelwasserläuferseveralC
RedshankTringa totanusRotschenkelseveralK
GreenshankTringa nebulariaGrünschenkelcommonC, B, S, K
Marsh SandpiperTringa stagnatilisTeichwasserläufer1Q
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropusWaldwasserläufer1C: Al Ansab
Wood SandpiperTringa glareolaBruchwasserläufercommonC, K
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucosFlußuferläufercommonC, K, Q
Sooty GullLarus hemprichiiHemprichmöweabundantC, S
Great Black-Headed GullLarus ichthyaetusFischmöwe>50Q
Black-headed GullLarus ridibundusLachmöwecommonC
Slender-billed GullLarus geneiDünnschnabelmöwemanyK
Yellow-legged GullLarus cachinansWeißkopfmöweseveralC
Armenian GullLarus armenicusArmeniermöweseveralQ
Swift TernSterna bergiiEilseeschwalbemanyC, S, K
Lesser Crested TernSterna bengalensisRüppellseeschwalbesomeB
Sandwich TernSterna sandvicensisBrandseeschwalbemanyS
White-cheeked TernSterna repressaWeißwangen\-seeschwalbe60S
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybridusWeißbartseeschwalbe3C: Al Ansab
Crowned SandgrousePterocles coronatusKronenflughuhn5Desert
Chestnut-bellied SandgrousePterocles exustusBraunbauchflughuhn6+25Desert, Ain Hamran
Sandgrouse spec.Pterocles spec.Flughuhn spec.12Desert
Rock DoveColomba liviaFelsentaubemanyDhofar mountains
Collared DoveStreptopelia decaoctoTürkentaubecommonC, S
Laughing DoveStreptopelia senegalensisPalmtaubeabundant 
Bruce’s Green PigeonTreron waaliaWaaliataube1Ain Hamran
Ring-necked ParakeetPsittacula krameriHalsbandsittich4C: Qurm, Al Ansab
Common SwiftApus apusMauerseglerfewC
Palid SwiftApus pallidusFahlseglerfewC
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthisEisvogel1Q
Little Green Bee-eaterMerops orientalisSmaragdspint6B
European Bee-eaterMerops apiasterBienenfressercommonB
Indian RollerCoracias benghalensisBengalenrackecommonC, B
HoopoeUpupa epopsWiedehopf1C: Al Ansab
Singing Bush LarkMirafra cantillansBuschlerche1S: Sun Farm
Black-crowned Fich LarkEremopterix nigricepsWeißstirnlerchemanyR, S
Desert LarkAmmomanes desertiSteinlerche1R
Hoopoe LarkAlaemon alaudipesWüstenläuferlercheseveralR
Short-toed LarkCalandrella brachydactylaKurzzehenlercheseveralR
Crested LarkGalerida cristataHaubenlercheabundant 
African Rock MartinPtyonoprogne fuligulaSteinschwalbemanyC, Nizwa, Dhofar mountains
Barn SwallowHirundo rusticaRauchschwalbe3Al Ansab, R
Red-rumped SwallowHinrundo daucariaRstelschwalbe1Al Ansab
Tawny PipitAnthus campestrisBrachpieper2R
Tree PipitAnthus trivialisBaumpieper1Al Ansab
Red-throated PipitAnthus cervinusRotkehlpieper3+5R, Q
Yellow WagtailMotacilla flavaSchafstelzeseveralC
Citrine WagtailMotacilla citreola citreolaZitronenstelze3Al Ansab
White WagtailMotacilla albaBachstelzeseveral 
White-cheeked BulbulPycnonotus leucogenysWeißohrbülbül2C: Qurm
Yellow-vented BulbulPycnonotus xanthopygosGelbsteißbülbülabundant 
Rufous Bush RobinCercotrichas galactoesHeckensänger1R
BlackstartCercomela melanuraSchwarzschwanzseveralDhofar springs
Isabelline WheatearOenanthe isabellinaIsabellschmätzerseveralR
Northern WheatearOenanthe oenantheSteinschmätzer1R
Desert WheatearOenanthe desertiWüstensteinschmätzerseveralDhofar
South Arabian WheatearOenanthe lugentoides 2S, R
Hooded WheatearOenanthe monachaKappensteinschmätzerpair with juv.Tawi Attair
Graceful PriniaPrinia gracilisStreifenpriniecommon 
Scrub warblerScotocerca inquietaWüstenprinie1Nizwa
Clamorous WarblerAcrocephalus stentoreusStentorrohrsänger1S
Arabian WarblerSylvia leucomelaenaAkaziengrasmücke1Ain Hamran
Orphean WarblerSylvia hortensisOrpheusgrasmücke1R
Lesser WhitethroatSylvia currucaKlappergrasmücke6-10R
Red-breasted FlycatcherFicedula parvaZwergfliegenschnäpper1R
African Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone viridisAfrikanischer 
severalDhofar springs
Arabian BabblerTurdoides squamicepsGraudrosslingseveralC: Al Ansab
Purple SunbirdNectarinia asiaticaPurpur-NektarvogelseveralS
Shining SunbirdNectarinia habessinicaAbessinischer NektarvogelseveralDhofar springs
Palestine SunbirdNectarinia oseaJericho-NektarvogelseveralDhofar springs
White-breasted White-eyeZosterops abyssinicaSomalibrillenvogelseveralDhofar springs
Black-crowned TchagraTchagra senegalaSenegaltschagra1Ain Hamran
Isabelline ShrikeLanius isabellinusIsabellwürgermanyC, S
Masked ShrikeLanius nubicusMaskenwürger1R
House CrowCorvus splendensGlanzkräheabundantC, B
Brown-necked RavenCorvus ruficollis WüstenrabemanyNorthern Oman
Fan-tailed RavenCorvus rhipidurusBorstenrabemanyDhofar mountains
Tristram’s GrackleOnychgnathus tristramiiTristramstarcommonDhofar mountains
Common MynahAcridotheres tristisHirtenmainacommonC
House SparrowPasser domesticusHaussperlingcommon Northern Oman, 
missing in the south
Rüppell’s WeaverPloceus galbulaGilbwebermanyS, Dhofar springs
Indian SilverbillEuodice malabricaMalabarfasänchen, 
Indischer Silberschnabel
African SilverbillEuodice cantansAfrikanischer SilberschnabelseveralS, Dhofar mountains
Yemen SerrinSerinus menachensisYemen-Girlitz3Tawi Attair
African Rock BuntingEmberiza tahapisiBergammercommonDhofar springs and mountains
Common WaxbillEstrilda astrildWellenastrild1C: Qurm
Scaly-breasted MuniaLonchura punctulataMuskatamadine3C: Qurm

Dirk and Regina Ferus