Birdingpals Trip Report

Trip Report Oman – February 6th through the 15th, 2005
by Birdingpal Forrest Rowland

I must have been here, staring at the computer screen for an hour, before deciding how to start this report. I was thinking of a scientific format, but those seem so impersonal and lack a certain appreciation for the experience of making the trek we just finished, yesterday. So, here I am, rambling on about, what seems to be, nothing in particular. But, maybe, from my indecisiveness, you can get some idea of how amazing a trip it was.
I've decided to give you, the reader, a description of us, a short description of the country (though "short" can do it no justice) and our route. The best map I've found for Oman is the Sultanate Of Oman map, scale 1:1,300,000, published by the National Survey Authority in June 2003. Other maps are much less detailed, though roads are rapidly being paved, so one is likely to find what are marked as graded roads, being, in fact, freshly paved. This is a testament to the Sultan's interest in good infrastructure.
The itinerary will follow, with a list of the birds seen at each site, by date, and time if applicable. The sites visited are, nearly all, listed and described in the Birdwatching Guide to Oman, Eriksen et al., Al Roya Publishing, November, 2001. Finally, I will include a Species List at the end, with total numbers of each seen, in order according to the Oman Bird List, 6th edition, by Jens Eriksen, Dave. E. Sargeant, and Reginald Victor; published by the Centre for Environmental Studies and Research, Sultan Qaboos University, November, 2003. You can jump forward to this list if you wish to skip the other sections of this report. If you have any questions or would like to be sent the above publications, feel free to contact me, Forrest Rowland, at or
Lastly, I will include some personal comments on political climate and some other factors that might affect one's experience in this great country. I hope you enjoy!

The goods:

My name is Forrest Rowland, and I am, among other things, a bird guide in Central and South America. I am here, in Oman, visiting family, but have recently been looped in to guiding a couple groups in the meantime, which has been quite enjoyable. I have birded Oman for only, what sums up to be, about 10 months of my life, the various stints summed up together. This particular trip was a vacation for me, and I was lucky enough to have some great company.
Mikkel Jakobsen is someone I consider a very good friend, though we've only really spent a couple months together, birding. I met him through Birdingpal. He contacted me, while I was living and studying in Quito, Ecuador, to do some birding during a visit he was planning. It was great luck to meet him, and we had an amazing trip there (I think he got nearly 800 species in 4 weeks). We kept in touch afterword.
When I came here in December, I did not know how long I was going to stay in, but was hoping to get some good birding time in. I've already stayed about 2 weeks longer than expected, love it, and will be here into late Spring, hopefully. It looks like I might be back here next year, same time, as well, to guide. Funny how these things just kind of happen.
I told Mikkel I was here, after having arrived and having enjoyed my first Christmas with family in four years. I invited him down and didn't have to wait two days for him to reply. He was coming, and booked his flights nearly the next day! He arrived on February 5th, after deciding to come only a couple weeks before. I hate to speak on his behalf, but I reckon he enjoys going to frontier places as much as I do. He just went to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan last summer. His list for birds to see here wasn't long, but included some very good ones. Grey Hypocolius was high on our list, of course.
He arrived at nearly 11:30pm, the 5th, and it was full tilt from there on out.

Sultanate of Oman
The Sultanate of Oman is an oddly shaped country. It is situated, at an angle, on the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and comprises, almost exactly, the northern half of this end. Oman shares a border with the UAE in the northwest, an expansive border with Saudi Arabia, through what is called "The Empty Quarter" in the West, and its Southern border country is Yemen. The Indian Ocean is a dramatic coastline from the South all the way up to the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Gulf of Arabia from the Arabian Sea (or Western Indian Ocean). Looking North from the northernmost point of Oman, Iran is, quite literally, within view.
Given it's large size and geography, Oman is an amazing country for birds. I have not the space here, nor you the time, to describe the entire avian geography of the country, so I'll stick to the areas we birded.
The capital of Oman is Muscat, population ~2.5million residents from a great many countries. Just to the West and North, along the Arabian Sea, is the Batinah Coast. This entire area is boxed in by the Jabal Hajar, high mountains (the 3 highest peaks on the Arabian Peninsula) rising up about only 30 kilometers inland from the beach. This entire area receives varying, but yearly, precipitation in the Winter, and cool temperatures from October to April. The Summer here is very, very, hot (50 degrees Celsius, some days). Given it's climate and proximity to the Capital port, this is Oman's agricultural Center, and also has the last remaining intact mangroves, in the country. The Farms attract scores of birds from Fall to Spring, and are the premiere destinations of the Batinah.
Heading West from Muscat are the Jabals, and the northernmost part of "The Interior"". If it sounds ominous, it is. From this point South (21.8 degrees N latitude to 17.7 degrees N latitude; 750kms) is nothing but flat, rock plains, and sand desert, stretching West another 2000kms into Saudi Arabia. It is a desolate and beautiful landscape, where one can easily mistake a tree 1 kilometer away, from one 20 kilometers away. There is little here but desert, desert birds, dunes, and the occasional camel. That is, apart from the oases and various wadis. These are the life of the desert, and often prove to harbor some of the most interesting birds in, seemingly, the most unlikely places.
The Southeast Coast, from 21 degrees N latitude to 17.7 degrees N latitude, is void of much, save a few khawrs (tidal ponds of salt and fresh water mix). The two exceptions to this somewhat uninteresting part of the country are Barr al Hikkman and Masirah. The main attractions here are Shorebirds and migrants.
In winter, some estimates reach into the TENS of thousands of each species of shorebirds on the Barr. Barr al Hikkman is approx. 60 square kilometers of Sabkha mudflats that support over 30 species of Shorebirds including Terek Sandpiper and Great Knot. Masirah island is well offshore, and attracts migrants and wintering birds in very surprising numbers. It boasts the highest species list (312) for any on place in Oman. Not to mention, it is the home of nearly all of Oman's resident Crab Plover. A great bird and one of the world's most interesting.
Perhaps the birdiest area in Oman is the far Southeast, called, by Omanis, the "Dhofar". It is named for the small mountain range that runs nearly East to West, along a small gulf, bordering Yemen. Given the mountain's proximity to the Ocean (less than 10kms), it has a four-month long monsoon season, where it receives large amounts of rain. It is the northernmost breeding area for many Yemeni and African species, that one must travel nearly 1000kms South to find. There are two fantastic grass farms there that attract raptors and other good birds, and many wadis and springs that hold the resident African birds, and the three migrant African breeders (Grey-headed Kingfisher, Didric Cuckoo, Golden-winged Grosbeak) that come north from April to September to nest here. Many khawrs along the coast attract ducks and waders, vagrants from both North and South, and the few promontories are good for seawatching in the proper season.

The Route
I wanted to visit all the major sites that are classically good for birds, plus some that typically aren't, but are along the way. This proved to work out beautifully, but was very LONG.
Most visitors to Oman bird the Batinah Coast and Muscat municipality, then fly to Salalah, skipping The Interior. Seeing how we weren't too short on time, we wanted to go ahead and bird the interior on the way South. Then, considering we saw pretty much all of our target species down south, we decided to head North early, stopping at Masirah Island on the way back. All told, around 4,371kms travelled in 10 full days. Yeah....WHOA!
We did it, made it back in one piece, and didn't even have a flat tire!! But, it was far. We made it to both the northern and southern borders of the country, save for Musandam, which is a detached piece of the country, well north of the crossing into the UAE.
Our first excursions were day trips here (about 100kms on the 6th) and birding the Batinah Coast (more like 600kms) on the 7th. We then headed West from Muscat, to Nizwa, and the highway that heads nearly straight South, for 835kms, to Salalah. We split the journey south through the Empty Quarter into two days, with a stopover in Qatbit, at the guesthouse there. The next day we made it to Salalah with ease (save one frightening gas station that was out of petrol!!) and had time to bird the farms there before settling in for the night. The Dhofar region was a lot of back and forth driving to various sights no more than 90kms distance from the farthest to the nearest. We spent 4 nights in the area.
Coming back North, we decided not to repeat the desert, and opted for the SouthEast to Masirah, then the next day to Muscat. It took us through some seriously vast and deserted plains near Marmoul (oil fields everywhere), over to the coast and up to Hijj and Masirah. It was nearly 750kms from Salalah to Port Shanna (Masirah jetty) and an exhausting drive. A longer return route, but worth it for the few very good birds we saw there.

February 5th-6th

Mikkel got in very late the 5th, practically the 6th, and was pretty tired. I picked him up from As Seeb International Airport, which, I think he will tell you, was very easy to navigate. We didn't make it back to my place until nearly 1am, on the 6th, had a chat and some juice, and hit the sack.
Against odds, we got up, on the 6th, somewhat early (late by birding standards) and were at Al Ansab Sewage Treatment Plant by 8:30am. Birders....always visiting the most beautiful places while on vacation!
We birded Al Ansab Sewage Lagoons until about 10:15am, then took a break for lunch, a nap, and some time to pour over the literature and plan the days to come. We received our rental car at noon, that day. We were happy when they pulled up in a Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, 2004 model, with less than 2,000kms on it!! Nice ride. And, the price was good, for here, at least. I reserved the car through a friend of my father's company, and it ran 25OR (1 Omani Rial = 2.6 USD) and came with 200 free kms per day. This is 3OR below the average and the kms were a great help. It would have been VERY expensive, otherwise.
The afternoon found us at Sunub Waste Disposal Site. The second most beautiful spot in the area....but the closest for Hume's Wheatear. Then it was back to Al Ansab. I'm sure Mikkel's first-day-impression was a curious one; wondering if our entire trip was going to be based on sewage and garbage disposal.
We stayed until just past sunset at Al Ansab, to check for Crakes.

Al Ansab
Little Grebe 2
Cormorant 100
Night Heron 12
Indian Pond Heron 2
Cattle Egret 1
Little Egret 9
Great Egret 1
Grey Heron 25
Teal 3
Pochard 10
Egyptian Vulture 3
Osprey 1
Marsh Harrier 7
Lesser Spotted Eagle 1 (10th record for Oman, present since late November, 2004)
Greater Spotted Eagle 5 (incl. 1 fulvescens)
Steppe Eagle 1
Imperial Eagle 1
Bonelli's Eagle 1
Grey Francolin 2
Little Crake 1 (female)
Moorhen 3
Coot 4
Red-wattled Plover 8
White-tailed Plover 3
Common snipe 5
Pintail Snipe 1
Wood Sandpiper 2
Common Sandpiper 5
Black-headed Gull 2
Caspian Gull 1
Whiskered Tern 2
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse 30
Rock Dove 12
Collared Dove 4
Laughing Dove 40
Pallid Swift 14
Common Kingfisher 1
Little Green Bee-eater 4
Sand Martin 50
African Rock Martin 8
Crag Martin 2
Barn Swallow 1
Yellow Wagtail 3
Citrine Wagtail 2
White Wagtail 40
White-cheeked Bulbul 2
Yellow-vented Bulbul 4
Bluethroat 2
Black Redstart 1
Graceful Prinia 14
Blyth's Reed Warbler 1(2nd record for Oman, likely same bird reported late December, 2004)
Clamorous Reed Warbler 8
Lesser Whitethroat 3 (ssp. S. c. minula, "Desert" Lesser Whitethroat. This superspecies is confusing, and, due to plumage overlap, we will treat "Desert" and "Hume's" as subspecies.)
Orphean Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 30
Arabian Babbler 2
Purple Sunbird 40
Isabelline Shrike 11 (both ssp. present)
Common Mynah 20
House Sparrow 30
Indian Silverbill 2

Black Kite 1 (the non-resident, western form, which is very rare in Oman)
Egyptian Vulture 250
Greater Spotted Eagle 27
Steppe Eagle 140
Imperial Eagle 8
Booted Eagle 1 (dark morph)
Black-headed Gull 250
Slender-billed Gull 30
Desert Lark 1 (ssp. annae)
Hume's Wheatear 1
House Bunting 1

February 7th
We got up very early today to drive to 210kms to our first site, Sun Farms, Sohar. We were able to get out of the house at nearly 5:30am, and onto the farms two hours later. It is best to provide advance notice, but the Farms have become increasingly more receptive to birding and naturalist visitors. They appreciate a list of the species seen after the visit, which can be relayed to the Farm administrator. This is one of the highlights of any trip to the Sultanate, and one of my personal favorites.
After birding here until nearly 11am, we headed for the UAE border, a site called Khatmat Milahah for two specialty birds, Plain Leaf Warbler and Eastern Pied Wheatear, both very tough to access on breeding grounds. We birded there an hour, then began our return journey for a stop at Shinas beach and mangroves, for the critically endangered kalbaensis subspecies of White-collared Kingfisher, of which there are likely less than 200 breeding pair left, worldwide. If split (and we found it odd that it hasn't already been), this species may receive more publicity and, subsequently, more interest for protection.
We made a brief stop at Sun Farms from there, and made it back to Muscat at around 7:30pm. A full and awesome day's birding.

Sun Farms
Indian Pond Heron 1
Cattle Egret 30
Grey Heron 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Marsh Harrier 5
Montagu's Harrier 2
Pallid Harrier 1
Greater Spotted Eagle 2 (incl. fulvescens 1)
Kestrel 2
Grey Francolin 6
Black-winged Stilt 4
Dotterel 2 (6th record for Oman>, present since January)
Pacific Golden Plover 14
Red-wattled Plover ~25
Little Ringed Plover 4
Little Stint 8
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Sandpiper 3
Common Snipe 1
Black-headed Gull 5
White-winged Black Tern ~25
Rock Dove 20
Collared Dove 1000
Laughing Dove 160
Ring-necked Parakeet 10
Pallid Swift 40
Little Green Bee-eater 2
Indian Roller 30
Black-crowned Finch-Lark 16
Short-toed Lark 30
Crested Lark 120
Small Skylark 2 (9th record, give or take, though likely overlooked)
Skylark 50
African Rock Martin 25
Crag Martin 4
Barn Swallow 15
Richard's Pipit 80+
Tawny Pipit 100+
Meadow Pipit 1 (10th record, though likely overlooked)
Red-throated Pipit 50+
Water Pipit 30+
Buff-bellied Pipit 1 (3rd record for Oman, though likely overlooked)
Yellow Wagtail 200+
- beema 80+
- thunbergi 25+
- feldegg 15+
- lutea 2
the rest either immatures or unidentified
Citrine Wagtail 10
White Wagtail 350
Masked White Wagtail 2
Bluethroat 3
Whinchat 1
Stonechat 2
Isabelline Wheatear 6
Northern Wheatear 1
Desert Wheatear 8
Graceful Prinia 5
Lesser Whitethroat 1 (ssp. S. c. minula)
Chiffchaff 1
Purple Sunbird 4
Isabelline Shrike 3
House Crows 1200
Common Mynah 400
European Starling 5
House Sparrow 120
Indian Silverbill 14
House Bunting 9
Corn Bunting 12

Khatmat Milahah
Ring-necked Parakeet 14
Grey Francolin 2
Eastern Pied Wheatear 9
Desert Wheatear 1
Hoopoe 2
Black Redstart 12
Lesser Whitethroat 1 (ssp. S. c. althaea, "Hume's", rare in Oman with maybe 4 confirmed records)
Lesser Whitethroat 2 (ssp. S. c. minula)
Scrub Warbler 2
Plain Leaf Warbler 2
Common Mynah 40
House Crow 30
Southern Grey Shrike 2
House Sparrow 40
Purple Sunbird ~20

Persian Shearwater 1
Cormorant 25
Squacco Heron 3
Western Reef Heron 14
Little Egret 2
Great Egret 1
Grey Heron 3
Shoveler 2
Oystercatcher 1
Little Ringed Plover 2
Kentish Plover 20
Lesser Sand Plover 8
Greater Sand Plover 2
Grey Plover 1
Sanderling 18
Little Stint ~40
Temmincks' Stint 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 40
Curlew 3
Redshank 30
Greenshank 4
Terek Sandpiper 2
Pomarine Skua 1
Sooty Gull 40
Great Black-headed Gull 22
Black-headed Gull 15
Slender-billed Gull ~60
Siberian Gull 1
Caspian Gull 50 (Larus barabensis 2)
Swift Tern 4
Lesser Crested Tern 10
Sandwich Tern 30
Saunder's Tern 9
Common Kingfisher 1
White-collared Kingfisher 1 (? ssp. H. c. kalbaensis 2)

February 8th
Today would be one of our longest drives, but most exciting days of the trip. Going through The Interior is fun, because you know, as soon as you see a tree, there could be something in it. With so much inhospitable (even to camels) area around them, the three guest houses often have some really great birds. Al Ghaba was the first stop, and produced nothing, having shut off it's water supply long ago, save a few drops to four trees. Al Ghaftayn was next (and we had a surprise waiting for us there!), then on to Muntasar and Qatbit.
Total kms logged that day were around 790, or three-quarters of the way to Salalah from Muscat. I list the sites by name, but also have the en route birds listed as such. We birded from about 1pm to 2:30pm at Al Ghaftayn, Muntasar 4:15pm to 5:30pm, Qatbit only about the last 15 minutes before dark. We stayed at the Guesthouse overnight and the rooms are more than adequate. The staff...very friendly and apt to help birders find their way around. This would prove our last true shower and honest bed for the next 4 nights.

Nizwa to Al Ghaftayn (approx. 450kms)
Laughing Dove 2
Crested Lark 3
Hoopoe Lark 2
Barn Swallow 1
Tawny Pipit 7
Desert Wheatear 2
Lesser Whitethroat 3 (ssp. S. c. minula)
Eastern Desert Warbler 2 (migrant ssp. S. n. nana, soon to be, if not already, split from Western Desert Warbler, found, resident, in Northwestern African deserts. From here on out I will refer to it as I have done here.)
Arabian Babbler 2
Steppe Grey Shrike 1
Brown-necked Raven 3
House Sparrow ~30

Al Ghaftayn Guesthouse
Laughing Dove 14
Black-crowned Finch-Lark 2
Grey Hypocolius 1 (Oman's 19th record, and WHAT A BIRD!!! It sat for photos!)
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Desert Wheatear 3
Black Redstart 2
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 (ssp. P. i. inornatus, confirmed only 4 times, previously in Oman, and we got some pics of this one)
Chiffchaff 4 (sorry for not designating ssp., but we see way too many chiffchaff to bother...I know...bad)
Willow Warbler 1
House Sparrow 30

Temminck's Stint 1
Spotted Sandgrouse ~30
Crested Lark 2
Black Redstart 3
Blackstart 1
Desert Wheatear 4
Water Pipit 7
Citrine Wagtail 1
White Wagtail 2
Eastern Desert Warbler 2
Southern Grey Shrike 1
Brown-necked Raven 2

Qatbit Guesthouse and Oasis
Koel 1
Meadow Pipit 1 (11th record for Oman)
Black Redstart 2

February 9th
We awoke the next morning early (Mikkel accidentally set his watch for 5am, not 6...sorry, man, but I have to bust on you for THAT one!) and get up our anticipation for the day to come with the preferred drinks of the trip: Mountain Dew and Coffee. Nothing like the sweet smell of pure caffeine in the early morning.
Anywho, we birded the Guesthouse grounds (VERY good potential and have some great records) until 8:15am. From there we went back out to Muntasar for the Sandgrouse spectacular. It was, modest, unfortunately, due to some very serious wind (60kms/hr +), but they did come in. We left the area at around 10:30am, and headed South, towards Salalah.
Just before Thumrayt, there's a turnoff onto a graded road, marked to Marmoul. This goes out a bit before hitting a wadi, named Rabkut. MacQueen's Bustard has been seen here on occasion (though the traffic likely scares them WELL away from the road) and is good for some tough larks. Again, the wind was horrific and almost blew our car doors off as we got out of the poor Pathfinder. But, we got a couple birds regardless. I've included them in the en route birds from Qatbit to Salalah.
We made a couple stops before getting to Thumrayt. First was at Al Beed Farms, which I'm not sure are still being maintained. The grass was uncut, not watered, and no one was to be seen. There were very few birds and we did not bird the site, but pressed on for some critically needed Gasoline. The next gas stop was a mere 10kms away.
Out there, in the middle of nothing, the gas stops are few, and far between (4, to be exact, between Nizwa and Salalah), and it's a good idea to stop at EVERY ONE to fill up. We learned this...the hard way.
With less than 1/8th of a tank (enough for about 50kms of travel), we knew we could not make it to Thumrayt without some fuel. We were comforted by the Al Maha station next to the Al Beed Farms site. At least, until we got there and found no cars at the pumps. I remember thinking to myself, "Man, that would be awful if there was no gas! Ha ha ha".
"No have Petrol." Came out of the mouth of the attendant, before we could even get dismount the car. "You gotta be _____ (expletive) jokin' me, right", was curt, sarcastic reply. "No petrol. Very sorry. No Petrol". After a brief, very peaked temper tantrum, I wanted to kick something...or someone. The attendant had gone back inside, had put his feet up on his desk, and was oblivious to the world. He was wrapped up in his soap opera in less than 5 seconds. I was furious, mostly at myself for not having brought spare gasoline. A lesson learned.
Mikkel went inside, and after imploring that the gas attendant give us something, ANYthing, left in the pumps, he came out, turned on the pump, and we had 7 litres more gas in about 5 minutes. It was more than enough to get us to Thumrayt, a little over 70kms away.
A little excitement to an otherwise boring stretch of road, and something we'll never forget: a gas station with no gas, in the heart of the petroleum capitol of the world.
Past Thumrayt, the Waste Disposal Site turned out to be abandoned and no birds were present. We headed into the Dhofar Mountains, which was a drive we'll never forget. The scenery is incredible, and, once you get there, you know you've reached a really special place, as the highway summits the hills and you're looking down at Salalah, the Salalah plains, and the Indian Ocean, from rocky, grassy hills, 1500 meters up. It is a very cool experience, and gives you the sense that you're descending into somewhere very old and very special.
We visited the Jarziz Farms, Salalah, from 5:30pm today, and did a quick stop at Ayn Razat to consider camping there, before heading over to Ayn Hamran. Word to the wise: Weekend camping at Ayn Razat is impossible because of the noise from local teens hanging out there. By the way, weekends are Thursday and Friday in Muslim countries.

Qatbit Guesthouse
Mallard 1
Collared Dove 15
Laughing Dove 35
Black Redstart 10
Orphean Warbler 2
Menetrie's Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 4 (nominate ssp., very rare in winter in Oman..not sure how many records, if any, outside of migration)
Lesser Whitethroat 8 (ssp. S. c. minula)
Chiffchaff 25
Rose-colored Starling 1
Brown-necked Raven 2

Spotted Sandgrouse ~80
Crowned Sandgrouse 16
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse 4
Crested Lark 4
Tawny Pipit 2
Water Pipit 7
Black Redstart 3
Desert Wheatear 4
Lesser Whitethroat 2 (ssp. S. c. minula)
Eastern Desert Warbler 1
Southern Grey Shrike 1

Qatbit/Muntasar to Salalah
Common Buzzard 1
Short-toed Eagle 1
Imperial Eagle 5
Common Kestrel 1
Bar-tailed Desert Lark 2
Desert Wheatear 1
Fan-tailed Raven 25

Jarziz Farms
Teal 4
White Stork 95
Greater spotted Eagle 2
Imperial Eagle 1
Marsh Harrier 6
Montagu's Harrier 1
Pallid Harrier 1
Common Kestrel 3
Singing Bush Lark 10
Tree Pipit 3
White Wagtail 4
Yellow-vented Bulbul 8
Bluethroat 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Desert Wheatear 5
Graceful Prinia 2
Shining Sunbird 7
Rose-colored Starling 150
Ruppel's Weaver 30
African Silverbill 3

Bonelli's Eagle 1
Common Kestrel 1
Bruce's Green Pigeon 3
African Rock Martin 22
Blackstart 2

Ayn Hamran
African Scops Owl 2

The next few days' lists are very, very, very long, as we made several stops to many small khawrs, and repeated the farms again, hitting Sahnawt Farm, to boot. So prepare yourselves. You can get an idea of the places we went, again, from the guide, but to give you an overview.....
We decided to bird the Eastern Dhofar sites the first three days, saving one full day for the few West Dhofar sites. This, allowing for plenty of time, mid-day, for swimming in the ocean, stopping a couple times at the Farms, and managing to enjoy our time while doing some real birding. We succeeded.

February 10th
The Indian Ocean is beautiful. The water is perfect, and the beaches don't get any whiter than these down here. Yes, I've been to the Caribbean. The only thing they have that we don't? No drinking. So, margaritas and sun, are out of the question. We've learned to cope, as impossible as it may seem.
Yes, it is a very long day with an arduous birding schedule, but looking forward to a good, healthy meal in Salalah actually inspired a first for me: bathing. Not that I don't bathe, but, without a shower, it seems there's nowhere to do it. Gazing out at all that blue, I figured we should give it a go. Bathing in the ocean. Yeah. What's more rugged than that? Not bathing, I guess, but that never really occurred to me. Thank God.
We were hard pressed and ready for food after Khawr Rawri, and I couldn't stop thinking of that one, small, hygienic luxury I've come to appreciate most...a good shave. And pizza. I don't know why, but we craved pizza. From Pizza Hut.
I decided to combine the two. You guessed it. I shaved in the bathroom at Pizza Hut. Twice. The employees there were very...patient...with me, and though I got some sideways looks, most all were with a smile and a chuckle. One guy offered me money. I didn't accept.
So went our first full day in the South, which, aside from spending two hours driving around looking for ice and decent shopping center for food, was great. We had left out tent ready for us and sleeping bags were calling us by about. We saw a Barn Owl flying over the road, into Sahnawt Farms, on the way back. Sweet end to a cool day.

Ayn Hamran
Sparrowhawk 1
Imperial Eagle 1
Verreaux's Eagle 2 (the only two for the entire trip!)
Booted Eagle 1
Arabian Partridge 4
Rock Dove 21
Laughing Dove 60
European Scops Owl 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Yellow-vented Bulbul 18
Blackstart 6
Chiffchaff 1
African Paradise Flycatcher 2
Shining Sunbird 24
White-breasted White-eye ~45
Black-crowned Tchagra 2
Fan-tailed Raven 8
Tristram's Grackle 4
African Silverbill 10
African Rock Bunting ~25

East Khawr
Masked Booby 1
Cormorant 3
Striated Heron 1
Squacco Heron 1
Western Reef Heron 5
Grey Heron 7
Spoonbill 5
Greater Flamingo 44
Osprey 1
Short-toed Eagle 1
Marsh Harrier 1
Booted Eagle 1
Kestrel 1
Ringed Plover 2
Grey Plover 4
Sanderling 10
Greenshank 2
Large White-headed Gulls 16 (incl. L. cachinanns, L. heuglini, and L. barabensis, when care was not taken to i.d. each of the three species and count them)
Caspian Gull 32
Gull-billed Tern 3
Lesser Crested Tern 4
Swift Tern 8
Sandwich Tern 2
Collared Dove 60
Laughing Dove 15
Crested Lark 4
African Rock Martin 5
Citrine Wagtail 1
Desert Wheatear 3
Graceful Prinia 2
Ruppell's Weaver 18
African Silverbill 7

Jarziz Farms (10:15a – 11:30a)
White Stork 60
Black-winged Kite 1 (7th record for Oman)
Marsh Harrier 6
Pallid Harrier 1
Greater Spotted Eagle 1
Steppe Eagle 3
Amur Falcon 1
Kestrel 12
Ruff 20
Collared Dove 50
Singing Bush Lark 40
Red-throated Pipit 1
White Wagtail 70
Yellow Wagtail 5
Clamorous Reed-Warbler 1
Ruppell's Weaver 10
African Silverbill 4

Sahnawt Farms (12p – 1:15p)
Greater Spotted Eagle 2
Booted Eagle 1
Cream-coloured Courser 8
Sociable Plover 6 (rare, but regular in Winter...but SIX...out of 400 birds worldwide? Awesome. Mikkel got pics of this and the Courser in the SAME frame!)
Ruff 34
Collared Dove 800 (spreading like a plague)
Yellow Wagtail 150
White Wagtail 300
Singing Bush Lark 30
Crested Lark 5

Khawr Al-Balid
Little Grebe 2
Purple Heron 1
Moorhen 30
Black-tailed Godwit 12
Redshank 15

Shatti Al-Balid
Socotra Cormorant 24
Masked Booby 4
Western Reef Heron 3
Grey Heron 7
Lesser Sand Plover 6
Sanderling 8
Redshank 1
Greenshank 6
Bar-tailed Godwit 4
Curlew 2
Sooty Gull 200
Slender-billed Gull 30
Black-headed Gull 2
Siberian Gull 2
Caspian Gull 100 (L. barabensis 1)

Khawr Sawli
Little Egret 1
Intermediate Egret 1
Grey Heron 14
Spoonbill 1
Cotton Teal 2
Wigeon 25
Teal 5
Pintail 4
Garganey 1
Shoveler 10
Pochard 2
Tufted Duck 48
Moorhen 20
Coot 14
Pheasant-tailed Jacana 1
Little Stint 4
Black-tailed Godwit 7
Black Kite (resident form, first of a few)
Marsh Harrier 1
Greater Spotted Eagle 1
African Rock Martin 4
Citrine Wagtail 2
Desert Wheatear 2

Khawr Taqah (4:15p – 5:30p)
Squacco Heron 2
Indian Pond Heron 4
Western Reef Heron 9
Little Egret 6
Intermediate Egret 1
Grey Heron 20
Purple Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 12
Spoonbill 8
Greater Flamingo 39
Gadwall 2
Pintail 12
Teal 6
Moorhen 17
Black-winged Stilt 12
White-tailed Plover 2 (South for this species I think)
Little Stint 5
Ruff 10
Common Snipe 1
Black-tailed Godwit 2
Spotted Redshank 2
Redshank 2
Marsh Sandpiper 2
Green Sandpiper 2
Wood Sandpiper 4
Common Sandpiper 1
Collared Dove 60
Rufous Turtle Dove 1 (ssp. S. o. meena, the central asian subspecies, soon to be split from S. o. orientalis)
Yellow Wagtail 5
Citrine Wagtail 12
Bluethroat 1
Graceful Prinia 3
Clamorous Reed-Warbler 2
Rose-colored Starling 50

Khawr Rawri
Little Egret 1
Western Reef Heron 1
Grey Heron 8
Marsh Harrier 1
Greater Spotted Eagle 1
Arabian Partridge 11
Blackstart 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1
Clamorous Reed Warbler 5
Great Reed Warbler 1
White-breasted White-eye 9
Black-crowned Tchagra 1
African Rock Bunting 8

En route
Barn Owl flew over the road as we passed Sahnawt Farms

February 11th
A bit less hectic day for us, today. Yesterday we got most of the specialties. All of them, really, save two or three. We have Tawi Atayr on the plate for today, so we should be able to pick one of these up, no sweat. After such a long day yesterday, though, we're taking it easy.
As the day unfolded, we decided to try for the Grosbeak by overnighting at Wadi Hanna. Didn't get it today, maybe tomorrow. Wrong season all together, but, Wadi Hanna is, by far, the most beautiful place we've seen, to date. The Baobab are great! You can really tell why the natives of Africa dubbed them upside-down trees. It Makes sense, when you see them. Plus, the spring here is one of the greenest, with the water trickling down the canyon and all. Really was a delight to camp out here. The stars, too, were perfect. There was no ground light to interfere. What a place! Nothing reminded me more of the mountains of West Texas, of all places.

Ayn Hamran (wake up at 6:45...a good sleep in!...birded for one hour)
Common Sandpiper 1
Bruce's Green Pigeon 2
Laughing Dove 15
Yellow-vented Bulbul 14
Grey Wagtail 1
African Paradise Flycatcher 2
Arabian Warbler 2
Shining Sunbird 40
Palestine Sunbird 25
Tristram's Grackle 8
African Rock Bunting 11

Tawi Atayr (8:30a – 10:30a)
Pallid Harrier 1
Imperial Eagle 4
Kestrel 4
Arabian Partridge 4
Rock Dove 145
Laughing Dove 60
African Rock Martin 50
Long-billed Pipit 1
Blackstart 4
Red-tailed Wheatear 2 (ssp. O. x. chrysophygia, "Eastern" Red-tailed Wheatear of Iran and Pakistan)
South Arabian Wheatear 6
Blue Rock Thrush 1
White-breasted White-eye 14
Isabelline Shrike 3
Southern Grey Shrike 1
African Silverbill 8
Yemen Serin 7
African Rock Bunting 21

Ras Janjari
Persian Shearwater 1
Masked Booby 140
Osprey 5
Pomarine Skua 1
Slender-billed Gull 12
Large white-headed Gulls 6
Swift Tern 6
Phalarope Sp. 1 (probably Red-necked, of course)
Whimbrel 1
Curlew 1

Wadi Hanna(5p – dusk)
Sparrowhawk 1
Greater Spotted Eagle 1
Imperial Eagle 2
Kestrel 1
African Scops Owl 3
Bruce's Green Pigeon 2
Laughing Dove 30
African Rock Martin 18
Grey Wagtail 1
Yellow-vented Bulbul 8
Blackstart 4
African Paradise Flycatcher 1
White-breasted White-eye 10
Fan-tailed Raven 10
Tristram's Grackle 12
African Rock Bunting 14

February 12th
This is to be our last full day in the Dhofar region. What a great few days we've had! One of my best birding experiences yet, all together.
I think that we are both kind of sorry it's over, but weary, at the same time. It is true that we are looking forward to solid meals (been eating cereal and sandwiches, save for two Pizza Hut stops) and not having to rely on Coffee and Mountain Dew to keep us alive. But, I wouldn't have done it any other way. Camping is a blast, and I haven't been to a more perfect area to do it in. I recommend camping the Dhofars, highly.
We're not done yet, so we give one last big effort and head West for the day. We are sure to make some time for bathing in the ocean and falling asleep in the sand again today, being our last day to enjoy the Southern, coconut-lined beaches. Chinese Food for lunch, and we are rejuvenated! No Grosbeak in the morning, but who knows what luck will bring us now. We have seen most of the target birds, and we have no idea what to expect now.

Ras Mirbat(7:45a – 8:15a)
Persian Shearwater 1
Red-billed Tropicbird 1
Oystercatcher 1
Kentish Plover 4
Greenshank 2
Large White-headed Gulls 60
Baltic Gull 1
Sooty Gull 80
Slender-billed Gull 10
Lesser Crested Tern 8
Swift Tern 2
Desert Wheatear 1
Red-tailed Wheatear 1 (Eastern)

Sahnawt Farms(10a – 11a)
Grey Heron 4
Greater Spotted Eagle 2
Imperial Eagle 1
Kestrel 2
Little Ringed Plover 2
Ruff 8
Whiskered Tern 12
Collared Dove 800
Namaqua Dove 3
Singing Bush Lark 50
Crested Lark 30
Tawny Pipit 30
Yellow Wagtail 150
White Wagtail 300
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Red-tailed Wheatear 6
Desert Wheatear 6
Isabelline Shrike 2
African Silverbill 2

Khawr Salalah(1p – 1:30p)
Little Grebe 2
Squacco Heron 2
Western Reef Heron 2
Little Egret 1
Grey Heron 5
Purple Heron 2
Glossy Ibis 34
Spoonbill 2
Great Flamingo 3
Wigeon 18
Gadwall 6
Teal 4
Mallard 2
Pintail 6
Shoveler 20
Pochard 3
Ferruginous Duck 1
Black Kite 1
Marsh Harrier 1
Black-winged Stilt 2
Little Ringed Plover 2
Ringed Plover 8
Lesser Sand Plover 6
Greater Sand Plover 1
Caspian Plover 5
Pacific Golden Plover 14
White-tailed Plover 1
Ruff 20
Caspian Tern 2
Gull-billed Tern 10
Spotted Crake 1

Khawr Magsayl(3p-5:45p)
Beach Access #1
Brown Booby 3
Tristram's Grackle 10
Beach Access #2
Sooty Gull 2500
Black-headed Gull 10
Slender-billed Gull 130
Large White-headed Gulls 700
- L. cachinnans 400+
- L. heuglini 9
- L. barabensis 2
Swift Tern 70
Kentish Plover 2
White Wagtail 1

Khawr proper
Grey Heron 1
Purple Heron 1
Moorhen 20
Teal 7
Mallard 4
Shoveler 6
Pochard 2
Yellow-vented Bulbul 5
Tawny Pipit 6
Red-tailed Wheatear 1
Clamorous Reed-Warbler 1

Wadi Ashawq
Yellow-vented Bulbul 10
Desert Lark 1
African Rock Martin 8
Red-tailed Wheatear 1
South Arabian Wheatear 4
Hooded Wheatear 1
Desert Wheatear 3
Palestine Sunbird 2

February 13th
Today was spent, almost entirely, driving. We did some birding along the way, but the route took us through the eastern end of the Empty Quarter, which is only marked and on good, paved, roads due to the amount of petroleum in the area. It is quite easily crossed, and the best place in Oman to look for Dunn's Lark, for those with the time. That wasn't, unfortunately, us.
We had to get all the way to Port Shannah, and the new Hotel there, for a much needed shower. We wanted to be close to Masirah, in order to bird it well the next day. So, we made the long trek from Salalah, to Thumrayt, across the eastern Interior to Marmoul, then over to the beach and on up through Ad Duqm to Shannah. Lots of driving, but time for a few stops. Out of sheer exhaustion and lack of interest in the birds we saw this day, I'll only go out of the way to document, here, the amazing numbers of birds we saw at the beach accesses near Ad Duqm, at dusk. Incredible!!!! An experience, and well worth the day's drive.

Ad Duqm (Ras and Barr)
Cormorant 2000
Socotra Cormorant 11,000
Western Reef Heron 9
Grey Heron 2
Oystercatcher 11
Grey Plover 1
Redshank 2
Greenshank 1
Curlew 4
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 6
Sooty Gull 9000
Large White-headed Gulls 14000
Caspian Tern 12
Swift Tern 30
Lesser Crested Tern 60
Sandwich Tern 7

February 14th
We woke up early today, intent on finding one bird: Crab Plover. Mikkel had been a bit distraught over not having seen it before now. I knew he'd be in for a treat. This is the most reliable site, on the planet, to my knowledge, and we weren't let down.
Actually, the Masirah turned up a couple of surprises, as well. Not just with regards to birds, and not just good surprises.
Out first surprise, was that the ferry from Shannah to Hilf (Masirah's port and only town) is affected by the tides. At extreme low tide, it cannot move. It was also surprising to find that it took about 2 hours to load the ferry, given that much of the traffic are large trucks, very difficult to maneuver. We were there, ready to rock n roll, at about 7:30am. We didn't even move from the jetty until about1 10:30am
This gave us plenty of times to explore the vast mudflats near the jetties. It gave us our bird, and a great idea of the enormous number of birds and vast area that is Barr al Hikkman. Essentially, 70 square kms of mudflats, perfect for shorebirds. This area should be protected, as it is being heavily fished and tread upon. It remains intact, however, for the moment.
We didn't drive off the ferry until nearly noon. A long boat ride, but a pleasant one. Good for pelagics, in season, I imagine. Hilf is nice, and there is a new Hotel there, as well, that I was not aware of. The island is small and, in migration, is a must for the visiting birder. In winter it is nice to see if there are any odd wintering birds and great to see plenty of Crab Plover.

Port Shannah Flats 8:30am – 10am
Western Reef Heron 13
Flamingo 22
Oystercatcher 23
Crab Plover 18
Grey Plover 11
Kentish Plover 14
Lesser Sand Plover 26
Ruddy Turnstone 60
Dunlin 1400+
Curlew Sandpiper 300
Redshank 4070+
Bar-tailed Godwit 1030+
Sooty Gull 500
Slender-billed Gull 100
Large White-headed Gulls 800
Caspian Tern 6
Gull-billed Tern 3
Lesser Crested Tern 20
Sandwich Tern 2

Crossing to Masirah (10:30a – 11:45a)
Cormorant 250
Persian Shearwater 1
Sooty Gull 4
Large White-headed Gulls 12
Caspian Tern 2
Swift Tern 2
Lesser Crested Tern 14

Khawr Hilf
Flamingo 21
Mallard 1
Pallid Harrier 1
Whimbrel 5
Great Black-headed Gull 1
Slender-billed Gull 5
Large White-headed Gulls 7

Hilf Sewage Ponds and Orchard (12:15p – 1:45p)
Indian Pond Heron 1
Greater White-fronted Goose Marsh Harrier 1
Pacific Golden Plover 4
Red-wattled Plover 1
Ruddy Turnstone 3
Little Stint 4
Curlew Sandpiper 5
Redshank 5
Greenshank 2
Common Sandpiper 2
Collared Dove 2
Laughing Dove 6
Koel 2
Red-throated Pipit 2
White Wagtail 3
Menetrie's Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 4 (nominate ssp.)
Whitethroat 2
Willow Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 15
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 (Western race, nominate ssp. F. p. parva)

Sur Masirah (2:45p – 3:15p)
Western Reef Heron 11
Grey Heron 2
Egyptian Vulture 3
Osprey 5
Oystercatcher 30
Crab Plover 150
Grey Plover 20
Bar-tailed Godwit 80
Caspian Tern 50
Hoopoe Lark 1
Desert Wheatear 2
Brown-necked Raven 4

February 15th
Mikkel's flight out tonight reminds us that our trip has finally come to an end. But, we're stubborn and decide to hurry back to Muscat for some last minute trip birds. We get some, too! Not on the drive back, which is nice and scenic (coming route 27 from Barzaba to Bidbid, then back on route 15), but when we got to town.
We stopped by Sunub briefly, to try to get Lappet-faced Vulture. It had been a little while since Mikkel had last seen a big vulture, and we both love them. We were rewarded with one soaring over the highway before we ever entered the dump. Inside the dump, we checked off 3 House Martin flying in with the African Rock Martin. This brought our grand total to 236.
In a last minute effort to get a couple more, we stopped by Al Qurm Nature Park (which has been destroyed, especially lately by the Muscat Festival) in hopes of some odd shorebirds. There were no shorebirds, save a couple Plovers, which was sad. It was a bit depressing, not for the trip count, because the flats there used to be awesome. We managed to get one last species by sheer luck...a Hen Harrier flew over our car as we were munching our burgers, waiting to get out and bird. Not a bad one to end the trip on, and a new Oman bird for me!
That was it. Back at the house we unpacked, got some hot showers, a little down time, and a great meal, before taking Mikkel to the airport. We barely had to reflect, really, on how far we'd been, all that we'd seen, or anything.
It's taken me a couple days to write this up. In the meantime, I have had the time to realize how fortunate we were, in many ways. Great birds, no stomach problems, no problems camping out, and we even had time to shower and shave!
We had no car problems, and only ran in to one hassle on the highway, between Ad Duqm and Hijj, which I won't go into detail about here, but didn't result in anything. I think I can safely say that everything went much better than expected, and I always set my sights high to begin with. I remember laughing, forecasting how many species we'd see, and joking that if we shoot for 230, why not 250, or 400!!! I never thought we'd get much past 200, really, and am thankful that we saw so much, as well as we did, and in such great settings Grey Hypocolius...... hard to beat that.

Conclusions and a few comments on Culture
My intentions in trying to record this trip well, and to put our thoughts and a little commentary into this, are two-fold.
Firstly, we like science, data records, and wanted to conduct ourselves accordingly, taking the best notes we possibly could. The OBRC does a great job and works very hard to keep the checklist and records accurate and up-to-date. We thank them for their diligence, and, both Mikkel and myself, want to be as helpful, in this regard, as possible.
Secondly, I love Oman. I think it is a fascinating country with a mix of, well, everything. Food, scenery, culture, and, of course, great birding. My commentary is meant to reflect this. I want you, the reader, to know that (Yes)it is biased. I do want people to visit and enjoy what this interesting country has to offer.
I have lived in quite a few places, in various countries. There is little to complain about here, and a lot to praise. It is not a democracy. It is strictly governed, with a hint of theocracy, and punishments here are swift and sometimes brutal. Women are not treated as equals, yet. Some races are looked down upon as being "the service". Finally, socioeconomic status is stressed and directly proportional to someone's importance, in a general sense.
These are the complaints. Now, please allow me to retort.
The Sultan is great at economic planning and development. All will tell you that he has built this country from the ground up. Unemployment is less than 1%. The people do not want a democracy, as they are happy under the current system. Punishments are swift and brutal, but seldom, as there is an astonishingly low crime rate that most, if not all, residents of the country are proud of and appreciative for.
This is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, miles ahead of many. Women drive, are gainfully employed and respected, and not required, by law or religion, to cover themselves. The case can be drastically different in other countries. This is progressive, and huge strides are being made towards an even closer semblance of equality.
The last two complaints are inevitable. They are rampant in every country and no less deplorable, no matter which one you happen to be in. This is simply the case, and is a trait of human nature that is to be worked against. These prejudices are present, but to a minor degree, I'm happy to say. Such must be the case, when a culture is comprised of many people from many different nations, all supporting each other and expanding together. In few places will you be eating dinner and, within earshot, hear more than four languages spoken by people from four, often more, different countries. It happens, here, to me weekly.
In summation, I learned a lot on this trip. We have been from metropolitan to rural; the penthouse to the outhouse, so to speak. We have met nice people and met some that were not so nice. We have been nice places, and others that you wouldn't wish your worst enemy to be stranded in. But, in all cases, I think, we felt comfortable and like we somewhere that others should see, too. I hope that this report will spur some of you, out there, to visit. The Middle East is a big place with beautiful countries that you should experience, and are safe to visit.
Thank you for your time and patience with my narrative. I hope it has been helpful. I listed my e-mail addresses in the opening introduction, and I would like you to feel welcome to use them to contact me for any questions you may have regarding anything contained in this report.
Best Wishes, and Good Birding!
Forrest D. Rowland
#891 Way 3013
Shatti al Qurm
Sultanate of Oman

The following is the species list, with the total number of individual birds, of each, we have seen, to give an idea to their abundance, nation wide, and the probability of seeing each one, should birders take our route this time of year. The composition of the birds here changes weekly, bear in mind, depending on time of year and weather.
This list does not refer back to where the birds were seen. You have to read a little more closely for that! Thanks for reading.

Trip List
Little Grebe 5
Persian Shearwater 3
Red-billed Tropicbird 2
Masked Booby 152
Brown Booby 3
Cormorant 378
Socotra Cormorant 11,013
Night Heron 12
Striated Heron 1
Squacco Heron 8
Indian Pond Heron 6
Cattle Egret 56
Western Reef Heron 72
Intermediate Egret 3
Great Egret 5
Grey Heron 99
Purple Heron 4
White Stork 97
Glossy Ibis 46
Spoonbill 33
Greater Flamingo 135
White-fronted Goose 1
Cotton Teal 2
Wigeon 39
Gadwall 6
Teal 31
Mallard 9
Pintail 10
Garganey 6
Shoveler 38
Pochard 17
Ferruginous Duck 1
Tufted Duck 48
Black-winged Kite (6th record for Oman)
Black Kite 3 (1 migrant form, 2 resident)
Egyptian Vulture 256
Lappet-faced Vulture 1
Short-toed Eagle 3
Marsh Harrier 28
Hen Harrier 1
Montagu's Harrier 4
Pallid Harrier 4
Sparrowhawk 3
Common Buzzard 1
Lesser Spotted Eagle 1 (Oman's 10th record, present since Nov. '04)
Greater Spotted Eagle 46 (A. c. fulvescens 3)
Steppe Eagle 108
Imperial Eagle 19
Verreaux's Eagle 2
Booted Eagle 3
Bonelli's Eagle 2
Osprey 14
Kestrel 38
Amur Falcon 1
Arabian Partridge 29
Grey Francolin 11
Spotted Crake 1
Little Crake 1
Moorhen 90
Coot 18
Pheasant-tailed Jacana 3
Oystercatcher 67
Black-winged Stilt 18
Crab Plover 168
Cream-colored Courser 8
Little Ringed Plover 12
Ringed Plover 10
Kentish Plover 40
Lesser Sand Plover 46
Greater Sand Plover 14
Caspian Plover 5
Dotterel 2 (6th record for Oman, present since January)
Pacific Golden Plover 38
Grey Plover 37
Red-wattled Plover 43
Sociable Plover 6
White-tailed Plover 7
Sanderling 76
Little Stint 55
Temminck's Stint 12
Curlew Sandpiper 1,346
Dunlin 1,040
Broad-billed Sandpiper 2
Ruff 85
Common Snipe 11
Pintail Snipe 1
Black-tailed Godwit 27
Bar-tailed Godwit 1,080
Whimbrel 6
Curlew 16
Spotted Redshank 2
Redshank 4,126
Marsh Sandpiper 5
Greenshank 17
Green Sandpiper 3
Wood Sandpiper 10
Terek Sandpiper 4
Common Sandpiper 7
Turnstone 53
Red-necked Phalarope 1
Pomarine Skua 2
Sooty Gull 11,914
Great Black-headed Gull 21
Black-headed Gull 284
Slender-billed Gull 312
Common Gull 1
Baltic Gull 1
Large White-headed Gulls 15,092
- L. heuglini 15
- L. cachinanns 533
- L. barabensis 5
Gull-billed Tern 30
Caspian Tern 80
Swift Tern 135
Lesser Crested Tern 240
Sandwich Tern 43
Saunder's Tern 19
Whiskered Tern 18
White-winged Black Tern 15
Crowned Sandgrouse 16
Spotted Sandgrouse 110
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Rock Dove 204
Collared Dove 2,851
Rufous Turtle Dove (ssp. S. o. meena; the non-nominate subspecies, from Central Asia, likely to be split, in the near future, from the East Asian S. o. orientalis)
Laughing Dove 484
Namaqua Dove 3
Bruce's Green Pigeon 11
Ring-necked Parakeet 44
Koel 3
Barn Owl 1
African Scops Owl 5
European Scops Owl 1
Pallid Swift 90
White-collared Kingfisher 1 (critically endangered ssp. H. c. kalbaensis, present only in remnant North Oman mangroves and the UAE, and possible future split)
Common Kingfisher 3
Little Green Bee-eater 14
Indian Roller 32
Hoopoe 4
Singing Bush Lark 130
Black-crowned Finch-Lark 33
Bar-tailed Desert Lark 2
Desert Lark 5
Hoopoe Lark 4
Short-toed Lark 30
Crested Lark 162
Small Skylark 2 (one of less than 10 records for Oman, but being reported with more regularity, as of recent)
Skylark 40
Sand Martin 50
African Rock Martin 148
Crag Martin 5
Barn Swallow 17
House Martin 3
Richard's Pipit 84
Tawny Pipit 143
Long-billed Pipit 3
Tree Pipit 3
Meadow Pipit 2 (the 11th and 12th records for Oman, I think, but the bird is likely overlooked)
Red-throated Pipit 53
Water Pipit 44
Buff-bellied Pipit 1 (3rd record for Oman, present since January, but this species has been overlooked, as well)
Yellow Wagtail 513
- thunbergi 26
- beema 60
- feldegg 25
- lutea 2
- flava 10
Citrine Wagtail 26
Grey Wagtail 3
White Wagtail 1,118
Masked White Wagtail (M. a. personata) 2
White-cheeked Bulbul 8
Yellow-vented Bulbul 76
Grey Hypocolius 1 (17th record, give or take, as there have been more regular records at Muntasar, in Winter, as of late)
Bluethroat 7
Black Redstart 34
Blackstart 19
Whinchat 1
Stonechat 2
Isabelline Wheatear 14
Northern Wheatear 1
Desert Wheatear 51
Red-tailed Wheatear 11 (ssp. O. x. chrysopygia)
Eastern Pied Wheatear 9
South Arabian Wheatear 11
Hooded Wheatear 1
Hume's Wheatear 1
Blue Rock Thrush 3
Graceful Prinia 31
Scrub Warbler 2<
Blyth's Reed-Warbler 1 (2nd record, as this bird is likely the same that was reported late last year)
Clamorous Reed-Warbler 16
Great Reed-Warbler 1
Menetrie's Warbler 2
Eastern Desert Warbler 7 (migratory ssp. S. n. nana, from Central Asia, soon to be split from "Western"" Desert Warbler, resident of Northwest African deserts)
Arabian Warbler 8
Orphean Warbler 3
Lesser Whitethroat 33
- Lesser Whitethroat, nominate ssp. S. c. curruca 6
- Lesser Whitethroat, "Hume's", spp. S. c. althaea 1
- Lesser Whitethroat, "Desert", spp. S. c. minula 26
Whitethroat 6
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 (Oman's 4th record for the subspecies P. i. inornatus, with only 37 total records for the superspecies)
Plain Leaf Warbler 2
Chiffchaff 76 (we, unfortunately, did not take the time to attempt to separate the subspecies)
Willow Warbler 2
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 (nominate, "Western", ssp. F. p. parva)
African Paradise Flycatcher 5
Arabian Babbler 4
Purple Sunbird 81
Shining Sunbird 85
Palestine Sunbird 33
White-breasted White-eye 156
Black-crowned Tchagra 4
Isabelline Shrike 18
- L. i. isabellinus 16
- L. i. phoenicuroides 2
Southern Grey Shrike 9
Steppe Grey Shrike 1
House Crow 1,230
Brown-necked Raven 37
Fan-tailed Raven 56
Tristram's Grackle 42
Starling 5
Rose-colored Starling 201
Common Mynah 505
House Sparrow 440
Ruppell's Weaver 83
Indian Silverbill 16
African Silverbill 34
Yemen Serin 7
House Bunting 10
African Rock Bunting 76
Corn Bunting 12

Total species recorded: 238
Total individuals recorded: 61,699

Other Wildlife:
Ruppell's Sand Fox 2
Arabian Camel..the one-humped guys....1,247!!!! Yeah....that's a LOT of camels

Last update 24/01/2013