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Oman - Christmas/New Year 2019/2020 (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
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.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
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.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
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.
 

jurek

Well-known member
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.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
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 :)
 

Had.enough

Registered User
Supporter
I noticed the Birds of Oman book, which is pretty much out of print and unavailable, but the birds of Oman web site had coordinates for all the sites in the book, in a garmin mps format, which was pretty difficult to access.
(https://www.birdsoman.com/publications.htm#BgtO2)

So, I converted the waypoints to kml format, and made the map of them all at the link below, free to all.
I don't think it is a great deal of use without the book or even meaningful waypoint names, plus there are so many waypoints!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sfL1roa0btfAEnafwfssFN4lRb3JqFGN&usp=sharing

Help yourselves, and by all means add your own waypoints to the map.
 
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