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Oman - Christmas/New Year 2019/2020

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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 19:03   #1
opisska
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Oman - Christmas/New Year 2019/2020

I found this is a good way to force myself to actually come through with the report, so I will once again start posting before going. We are headed to Oman on December 24 for a 12-day stay, which is mainly motivated by mammals, but since we are going there, we will also look at some birds - especially because the Czech Birding Contest now includes "greater WP" as one of the categories and I am not winning it yet, which is clearly outrageous.

I have downloaded some really nice report, which I have since lost, which had a list of birds, upon which I have based my "target list" by adding whatever else I could find in Birds of Middle East and confirm on Ebird that it actually gets seen at least once in a while. If someone is possibly looking for an inspiration, I have made it into a shareable google doc - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing - the "new" sheet is the plan, the "old" is the rest of the list from the report (which I am sorry for not crediting as I can't find it) so that the whole list is somewhat useful for other people, because we already have a lot of local attractions from other places in the Middle East. For some birds there are recent Ebird sightings, for most other we plan to go by the "Birdwatching in Oman" book which a lovely colleague let us borrow for this trip. The "mammals" list also has a part about species we already have and then a very wild plan of what may be possible seen.

We plan to first try for the Omani Owl, which allows us to re-live the mystery of the Desert Owl in almost exactly the same manner. Once again, it's super secret on Ebird and Observation, and this time there are even zero recordings on XC, but funnily enough, HBW openly shows where to go to anyone interested (https://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/omani-owl-strix-butleri) so that's a pretty clear destination. The southernmost sighting is in the same place where several people saw Blanford's Fox - and even better, this area also has most of the bird species that we are looking for and can be only seen in the north.

That was something that really surprised me - that despite there being a huge amount of attractive sites in the north, there are really only very few (9 to be precise, but only 5 of the "expected" variety) target species that occur only in the north - it's simply too "Western Palearcty" there, whereas the south around Salalah is honestly much more Afrotropics than anything. Maybe eventually people will draw the line across Oman? Because really, all the weird things in the Arabian Peninsula occur on the south-western corner, because it's much wetter and closer to Africa than the rest. Due to the shape of the borders, the southern sites in Oman are really crammed and that's something to look forward - there seems to be so much, both regarding birds and mammals within a very small disatnce around Salalah, so this should be fun. For example Wadi Darbat, a small valley several kms long promises potentially three kinds of owls, a plenty of daytime bird specialties, a honeybadger, a gennet and several rodents ... I mean get me there asap!

The leader of the Czech "gWP" contest is 27 species ahead of me, which seems easy enough, but incidentally, more people from the club are coming at the same time - the best of them is 34 species behind me but he misses some of the easier species we already have, will dedicate all the time to birds and frankly he is bit more optimistic in determination, so he can rack species faster. So the game is on once again, thanks to the people who have redefined the WP for giving us something to do :)

edit: found the report, the one and only from which you can easily copy the list! https://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=2741
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Old Saturday 21st December 2019, 06:07   #2
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Sounds good Jan! I look forward to your updates immensely and hope for 'a good, clean fight' in the gWP contest!

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Old Tuesday 24th December 2019, 12:16   #3
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Another one looking forward to your updates.
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Old Tuesday 24th December 2019, 18:48   #4
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Indeed!
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Old Saturday 28th December 2019, 05:18   #5
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After getting our car from the airport at 23:30 on Christmas Eve, we drove straight to Ghubrah in the mountains where Omani Owl has been reported. There is now a new paved road all the way through the bowl, so it was much less of an adventure than we expected. After some walking around and listening for some time, we went to sleep.

In the morning the Sun has driven us out of our tent and just as we packed it, a pair of loud birds flew over and landed nearby. After a long chase, we confirmed these to be Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse; in the process we also met some Purple Sunbirds, which however we later found to be very common throughout the north of Oman.

In Muscat, the back entrance to the Al Qurm park was open, so we explored it in the afternoon. The pools near the entrance were quite empty, but around the creek it was lively. Red-wattled Lapwings were common, even if they are just a gWP tick for us (we saw them in SE Asia) as well as was the Oriental Honey Buzzard circlit quite close overhead. The park was entertaining despite the lack of further ticks, as was the nearby beach.

The next morning we watched a partial (close to annular) solar eclipse which we learned about only from posters on the airport (so much for us being astronomers). We watched near Al Khiran east of Yiti and there was a Hume's Wheatear reported on ebird nearby which we indeed saw - we saw one earlier near a road, but not that well - and also a plenty later as the species is also common. The Yiti estuary had some gulls and waders and was overall pleasant.

After a fruitless search for Tahr from the edges of the Wadi Al Shireen reserve, we continued to Wadi Al Muyadin near Birkat al Mouz to search for Omani Owl and Blandford's Fox in the night, both unsuccessfully. We did however find Plain Leaf Warbler before dark in the wadi village and some bats (presumably Small Mouse-tailed) next morning in a cave.

After a rather long sleep and another Tahr-less jaunt around the southern side of their reserve (where landscape was superb and Indian Roller abundant) we reached the eastern coast and spotlighted a bit around the coastal road south of Al Askhirah. We lost a bit of time when we drove a bit off the road and got immediately stuck in sand and had to wait for a passerby to show us how to get out by deflating the tires (and more importantly that we can get them reinflated in a nearby village) - anyway, we only saw Red Foxes (so far at least 12 during the trip). Next morning we hurried towards the Shannah port after reading horror stories about the queues for the ferry, so now we are sitting on an almost empty boat hoping for it to fill.
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 09:10   #6
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Interesting tip about deflating tyres when stuck in sand Jan, did you deflate them totally or just 50-50?

Hope you get the owl but the birds you have already seen are nice.
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Old Friday 3rd January 2020, 13:28   #7
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Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
Interesting tip about deflating tyres when stuck in sand Jan, did you deflate them totally or just 50-50?

Hope you get the owl but the birds you have already seen are nice.
We let the guy who stopped to help us handle it, he made the tyres soft but is was possible to drive on tarmac to a nearby village for air. In Africa in a 4x4 I would regularly deflate tyres to about half pressure and it was great help.

Sadly, we have no downtime, or maybe not so sadly :) so no time for updates. Now we are sitting in Muntasar, an oasis at the edge of the Empty Quarter. There are no people around, just us, some water and trees, a duck, a plover and some pipits - and in the true Omani way, 3G internet.

As for the rest of the trip, birds were great and I am already winning in Czech gWP contest :) We even saw African Scops Owl and Arabiab Spotted Eagle Owl and heard Desert Owl - we will try for Omani tommorow as we come back to its range. For mammals, the total lack of any cetaceans was a huge disappointment, but then we saw a Striped Hyena, so who cares!
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Old Friday 3rd January 2020, 14:25   #8
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Congratulations on taking the top spot Jan (just watch out for your better half now!)

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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 12:30   #9
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Sounds great, you're dedication and effort fully deserve it, but I am very jealous of the owls you saw. Wow!
Thanks for the tip by the way, about tyres, its my greatest fear when stuck abroad.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 14:26   #10
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Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
Sounds great, you're dedication and effort fully deserve it, but I am very jealous of the owls you saw. Wow!
Thanks for the tip by the way, about typres, its my greatest fear when stuck abroad.
Another tactic when stuck in sand, is to wedge the foot mats under the front wheels and slowly drive over them.
Make sure no one is behind the car though, you can fire the mats a good 30 metres if you "drive" too fast. Great fun until you remember you are still stuck in sand, and now have to go looking for the mats.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 15:52   #11
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Another tactic when stuck in sand, is to wedge the foot mats under the front wheels and slowly drive over them.
Make sure no one is behind the car though, you can fire the mats a good 30 metres if you "drive" too fast. Great fun until you remember you are still stuck in sand, and now have to go looking for the mats.
Ha cheers Peter, I had read about that tactic but to date not quite got stuck though come close!
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 16:05   #12
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After a couple of hours in the port, during which Ivana added a Little Heron to her gWP list, we finally set sail, but the whole Masirah visit was marred by bad weather and brought only a Masked Booby - even a 5 a.m. rainy search for turtles turned out fruitless. For the way back we splurged for the National ferry (after finding that the cheap ones went much earlier and no further boat was filling). It turned out to be a good choice as it offers a better seawatching platform anyway.

The mudflats on the mainland side are difficult to explore with a 2WD, but we tried to look for Great Knot in places, to no avail. In Filim though a stop at the rocks opposite the mangroves brought a White-breasted Waterhan, quite the find! A few days later our Czech friends saw Asian Koel on Mahoot, which we sadly did not know about. We even stopped there for sandwiches!

As the afternoon got older, we pushed south aiming for a night visit in Ash Shuwaymiyyah, but the rains made the wadi track impassable right from the village, so we had to return to tarmac and camped near the Soccotra Cormorant site 20 kms west. There we saw no cormorants at all in the morning - maybe one has to look from the beach, not the road? - but then a stop in a random wadi with palms and a lagoon (Wadi Al Nakheel) gave us the warmest Dhofar welcome with Arabian Partridge, Shining Sunbird and a very unexpected Jacobin Cuckoo.

The new coastal road towards Mirbat was spectacular, but none of our stops produced any seabirds nor cetaceans. Near Mirbat we explored Wadi Baqlat where a Black heron was reported earlier on December only to find African Sacred Ibis, apparently also quite rare here. Back in Mirbat we met a large group of Abdim's Storks sitting on lamps and houses and a view over a cetacean-less ocean once more.

Expecting them to be a tricky target (as it turned out to be the case for our friends later) we went looking for Yemen Serins in Tawi Atayr and found them immediately after arrival on wires next to the parking lot. The area also had a lot of confusing birds which we believe to be Ruppel's Weavers now as no other similar species is reported. The general area also produced Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (later common also elsewhere) and African Silverbill.

With Serins under our belts, it was time for the main spectacle, Wadi Darbat. The waterfalls are still on and this is really a natural wonder - rather less appealing though are the massive construction works in the valley, which currently make the lower parts rather hostile during the day. We thus hiked on upstream from the end of the road, where we quickly found Bruce's Green Pigeons and later heard both Arabian Scops Owl and Spotted Eagle Owl. Trying to climb the rocky and bushy slopes towards the calling Scops Owl proved absurd, but during the hike back, an Eagle Owl happily showed right above the path in front of us. On another visit next evening, we found a Scops Owl right next to the parking lot, which made the whole climbing attempt even funnier. Wadi Darbat also had several Barn Owls (heard and seen) as well as some rather spectacular night-time mammalwatching with 3-4 Large-spotted Gennets in the hiking part and a Wolf around the road lower down (where the construction gets deserted after dark).

Next morning in Ayn Athom we quickly filled the gaps in our Dhofar specialities with Abyssinian White-eyes and African Paradise Flycatcher - both species turned out to be relatively common at other locations as well. The Athom/Tobruq juctions looked rather silly with caterpillars abound, but Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeaks did not care and came to drink anyway. Visits to several parts if Khawr Rawri and then Ayn Hamram brought nothing unusual, so we decided to try for Verreaux's Eagle from the Jabal Samhan viewpoint, but this was thwarted by clouds (or fog, depending on the perspective). At least Arabian Wheatear could be seen along the road.

This night we camped in Ayn Hamram, where we again saw nothing in particular, and dedciated tge morning to East Khawr, which paid off with Pheasant-tailed Jacana and Cotton Pygmy Goose. The gate guard at the nearby Sahnawt farms has kindly allowed us to walk in (no car) and we found Singing Bush Lark using a tape, without which it would have been rather hard in the vegetation. We then saw the weather improving and returned all the way to Jabal Samhan only to find the clouds starting right at the edge of the cliffs, again thwarting any viewing, so we drive like mad people again all the way to Salalah to pick up the super easy Spotted Thick-knees on the premises of the archeological park. All of this driving around through Tawi Atayr had at least the advantage that we could repeatedly stop for the superb vegetarian sandwiches near the petrol station.

Continuing westwards, we spent several hours looking over mostly empty ocean (barring a single Brown Booby) at Al Mughsayl, where we finally ticked Soccotra Cormorant after thoroughly studying some very poor photos we made of them. The lagoon did not look promising, but the valley could be driven in a 2wd to within 3 kms of the owl site - and then the locals offered us a lift further, which we declined because we wanted to hike (and then accepted on the way back). Desert Owl was heard at the end of the track pretty much immediately upon getting there, but we could not get close enough to it to see it. When we later camped near the road to Fazyia beach, we saw a Striped Hyeba while checking the surroundings with a spotlight.

Next day we drove all the way to Yemen border looking for good sites and we pretty much concluded yhat we haven't found any, so we turned north to Mudday, where Nile-valley Sunbirds were plentiful. No amount of searching has produced any Koel, but at least we could watch the nice Hypocolius in the morning flying around as we flushed them from a bush at the picnic site inadvertently. In the evening, we saw a veeeeeery distant Arabian Gazelle in the third wadi to the east, where the army checkpoint is, and we went to try again in the morning, but the army told us off - so much for Oman "not having the problems like Israel".

Pressed by time to return to the north, we made just a few stops along the desert highway with minimal success. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening, night and morning completely alone in the Muntasar oasis, the greatest desert place we have ever seen, but we could not convince any rare birds or mammals to share the joy with us. Now we are sitting once again at the Omani Owl area in Ghubrah waiting for them to call, which gave me ample time to finish the post. At dusk we at least heard Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse flying through, presumably to drink - but are we gonna hear the owl before the mosquitoes eat us alive?
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 17:27   #13
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Fantastic birding, what a trip Jan !
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 14:32   #14
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The owl did not show or call even after 7 hours of waiting and occasionally scrambling across rocky slopes and neither did the Pacific Golden Plovers back at Al Qurm, so the only other tick was a Grey Francolin for my wife which I already had from a 1-hour jaunt outside Abu Dhabi airport. Unless we find some of the hard-to-ID species on photos (Indian Pond Heron, Intermediate Egret, Pin-tailed Snipe), the final tally is roughly 165 species (as usual, we did not put much effort into those we already had, so we surely missed some stuff) 29 gWP ticks for me and 32 for me wife, from those 21 global lifers for me and 23 for her.

Overall a pleasant and easy experience, the only downsides being the heat sometimes and way too much driving (5100 km). Not that cheap at roughly 1100 Eur per person, but the wast majority of that is the stupidly expensive airfare around holidays (600 eur per person), car rental (560 Eur total) and gas - for the rest we spent about 100 Eur each only, as food is cheap (despite what peiple say online) and we only camped for free.
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Old Friday 10th January 2020, 17:47   #15
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For people looking for info on sites, I figured I could summarize our practical experiences, in particular related to reaching the sites in a 2WD. All sites that are included in the Birdwatching guide to Oman or in online updates will be identified by the relevant number and possibly points from the book by the capital letter.

- Al Qurm park (1.2). The "rear entrance" (H) was open at both visits way before 4 pm and we could walk easily around the whole area, including the park itself, which was deserted. There are also trails and boardwalks in the mangroves hidden behind a locked gate on the beach side - this area can be accessed at low tide by walking under either of the bridges on the coastal road. Not sure if it is legal, but some local fishermen did that as well.

- Al Mouj golf course near the airport: we tried it as it looks promising. They offer guided birding on Monday morning and would also allow us to visit at the random time we turned up BUT for photography with a long lens we would need a special permission. Seriously? That had us leave.

- Yiti (1.4) now accessed using the new road (shown as "under construction" in the book). The bay and lagoons seem to suffer from some kind of development with dykes and whatnot, but still hold some birds. The area around Khairan lagoons towards As Sifah is also nice.

- Al Ghubrah Bowl (4.1). The road is now paved, all the way through the bowl to its end (only the outermost villages are not reached) and there is no risk in driving there, as it goes way above the wadi in the entrance. Side unpaved roads can sometimes be followed in a normal car, especially the Wadi Bani Harras one near the entrance.

- Wadi Al Muyadin (4.3E) road is not paved, but passable, but better park right before the village.

- Al Ghabah hotel (mentioned in ch. 7) does not look useful, area has mostly houses and only a few trees

-Al Ghaftayn hotel (7.2) has a larger garden but there is a new extra fence and the green area does not seem accessible

- Muntasar (7.3) reachable easily with 2WD, the roads are quite nice. A place of great atmosphere, but surprisingly little birds of interest

- Qatbit (7.4): the gardens are large, well watered and green. The oasis (D) is cool and just barely reachable with 2WD. If you are not confident, park at the last junction, it's obvious, and walk.

- Al Balid Farm (7.5) welcoming, with some trees around the houses, an orchard and then some huge irrigated areas

- Barr Al Hikman (8.1) is a huge area which is indeed difficult to explore without a 4WD - and I guess even with it. We had it especially rough after the rain where there was a lot of mud on the roads. We took an unpaved road south from a point a few kms east of Hijj, as there was a sign to a nature reserve - we did not find anything obvious though. The road goes through to Filim along the coast, but we turned back close to the end, as the part that crosses a large lagoon was really muddy. The place we liked the most was in Filim, at the end of the now-paved road you can walk a few minutes to reach the tip of the peninsula, looking towards huge mangroves. Around Shannah it was not possible to drive anywhere off the main road in 2WD.

- Sur Masirah (8.3): a confusing network of tracks leads from the village towards the birding areas, in a 2WD you can get reasonably far to watch the whole bay with a scope.

- Ras Abu Rasas (8.4): can drive a 2WD to the outermost point of the peninsula, but it's a bit bumpy - also finding the way may need several attempts.

- Ash Shuwaymiyyah (9.4): we wanted to drive to the wadi and the road looks good, but the rain was very heavy in the area and made it impossibly muddy.

- Wadi Al Nakheel (17.597814, 55.250760) - a largely unknown spot, where we had great birds, with a lagoon and a palm grove right next to the main road

- Sahnawt Farms (10.1.) - supposedly closed per the updates, but we were let in by the guard (on foot). Watching over the fence is not great, the irrigated surface is far on all sides.

- Al Baleed archeological park: most of the park doesn't look useful, but the Think-knee garden from the updates delivered.

- East Khawr (10.2): the east side and beach side are driveable in a 2WD, but from the east you can look through the reeds only at several points

- Both Ayn Tobroq and Ayn Athum (new sites from updates) accessible in 2WD and beautiful, the drinking place at the junction delivered the Grosbeaks.

- Khawr Taqah (10.6) looks like a weird abandoned picnic area with not that many birds. Apparently it's better if you try to approach from the beach side, but we decided not to drive there, as the tracks were not that good.

- Khawr Rawri (10.7): access through the archeology area is straightforward, if you drive towards the sea, there is a great beach (needs 1 minute walking). The sandbar is no longer broken, but there is not much vegetation yet in the lagoon. From the inland/west side, it's a bit trickier, as the old bridge is broken, so for access you need to drive on the highway, turn around on the roundabout and then leave it at (17.056141, 54.413269) towards the west side of the broken bridge. Don't drive a 2WD on the track along the lagoon, I did and was not happy, it's not far to walk. Along the west side, you can reach the cliffs above the lagoon at some places, but it's completely different than on any maps due to new houses being built.

- Wadi Darbat (10.8): has still a lot of water, but the lower part (with a paved road) was full of construction works and not pleasant. Park at the end and walk upstream (first you need to go a bit uphill to circumvent water).

- Tawi Atayr (10.9) is easy to access and the road to Jabal Samhan is also paved - but beyond the lookout, pavement ends quickly and surface is quite terrible. It was foggy during both our visits. A fascinating paved detour north from this road at 17.122142, 54.580614 lead to Tayq Sinkhole - probably not too many birds, but great scenery.

- In Raysut (10.14) there is a lagoon only in the updates (10.18), which looked the bestin the area - at 16.958875, 53.989640 right next to the main road. The Raysut port is getting out of hand and we could not reach any seawatching points, it seems to be lost.

- Al Mughsayl (10.15): the seawatching area is really comfy, but the lagoon is quite washed out with no cover and not many birds. The road towards wadi is passable by 2WD to some settlement (E) and then it absolutely isn't, it's 3 kms walk to the Desert Owl site (but you can get a lift from locals).

- Along the road towards Yemen (10.16) we did not locate any obviously good birding spots

- Mudday (10.19 in updates) can be accessed both on a paved road from east or a dirt road from south - both are quite scenic, the dirt road moreso. About 3kms south of Mudday there is a track west (about 1 km) to another small semi-abandoned oasis, I bet there are sandgrouse in the morning. On the road east, you cross 3 valleys, the third one with the checkpoint is the most attractive, but we were told to leave.
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Old Saturday 11th January 2020, 05:54   #16
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Great stuff Jan, many thanks for posting!

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Old Saturday 11th January 2020, 12:59   #17
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We eventually concluded that all three questionable species were seen beyond reasonable doubt: Intermediate Egret near Mirbat, Indian Pond Heron at Al Qurm and Pin-tailed Snipe at Khawr Rawri, brinign my gWP score to 32 and my wife's to 35. Indian Pond Heron is also technically a lifer for us, because we have seen some birds in SE Asia before, but they were no safely identifiable between Indian and Chinese (and we have as summer plumage Chinese to tick for that).
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 06:35   #18
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Really useful info Jan.
Have it book-marked in case I manage to get there.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 09:28   #19
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Now it seems we also briefly saw a Brown Shrike, a real rarity in Oman, the trip just keeps on giving. I have never been in a place like this where rarities are basically expected!
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 09:51   #20
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Having read your report, and other reports, it does come across like Israel on Steroids, in terms of the mix of African and Asian species.

I'm amazed it hasn't become more popular as a birding destination.

But looking on the map, it is a long flight from Europe, and perhaps harder to justify when compared to a trip to India or Africa.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 09:59   #21
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Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
Having read your report, and other reports, it does come across like Israel on Steroids, in terms of the mix of African and Asian species.

I'm amazed it hasn't become more popular as a birding destination.

But looking on the map, it is a long flight from Europe, and perhaps harder to justify when compared to a trip to India or Africa.
That is indeed the perfect description. It lacks the pompous winter birding of Jordan valley though, but it makes up for it by having a proper coast. The feeling of being in something like Israel - nature-wise - is really prominent. I think it would become even more so if more people went there, because then more rarities would be discovered and information distributed, there must be so many great birds nobody ever sees.

On one hand I do agree that it gets overshadowed by similarly distant destinations and one of the main motivations for me to go there was the "greater WP" idea. On the other hand after being there and seeing how overwhelmingly easy it is to travel and bird, I am very happy for having chosen it, as I am slightly fed up with destinations where I need to make arrangements and beg people to let me go where I want.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 16:56   #22
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Interesting thoughts Jan.

Do you think birdwatching by westerners is understood in Oman?
There is obviously no trouble getting optics into the Country, as I believe there may be in Jordan.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 19:06   #23
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Interesting thoughts Jan.

Do you think birdwatching by westerners is understood in Oman?
There is obviously no trouble getting optics into the Country, as I believe there may be in Jordan.

We spoke with only a few people but everyone understood what we are doing. There are some birders coming, so it's not unusual, just the coverage is still sparse. In Mudday locals were keen to talk to us and noted that many people come to one place and they do not know why specifically (it's the Hypocolius/Nile Valley Sunbird site) and recommended more sites to us where they thought it's also green and good.

A good anecdote is from Kuwait, where there are less natural sites to go to so you end up needing to enter private farms - I quickly learned to just waive my lens at the nearest worker and always got shown to enter.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 21:32   #24
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Thanks for the report, Jan.

It helped me understand why I liked Oman and several other destinations more than others: because of freedom to move. No restrictions, no allowed trails, and no forking money at every step. You are free to enjoy wildlife wherever, whenever and however you want.
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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 13:28   #25
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One unusual think about the Oman trip was the huge amount of birds that we had problems to ID. There is just so much stuff possible from several geographical realms, all in confusing winter plumage or having been seen very badly from large distance or bad light - analyzing such bad pictures using the BirdForum distributed brain has brought us two new gWP additions on top of birds already mentioned: Lappet-faced Vulture from near Wadi Sireen and Amur Falcon from the top of the curves above Mirbat towards the Serin site. We haven't nailed every single individual to species, but we can pretty much provide the final tally now:

181 species observed - one of the top trips, second best in gWP, not that far behind Georgia/Armenia (191)
35 gWP ticks for me, 38 for my wife, out of which
23 global lifers for me, 25 for my wife.

Not bad :)
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