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OMANI OWL EXPEDITION

Saturday 1st February - Sunday 9th February 2014

Mike Watson

Sociable Lapwing (Mike Watson)

Sociable Lapwing (Mike Watson)

Our expedition, the first of a series targeting some of the toughest birds in the world, in our push towards 10,500 species was happily a success, with three Omani Owl sightings, two of them at a new site and another bird heard only at the type locality. We played a part in finding a new site for this recently discovered and very poorly known species and a series of firsts included being the first tour company to see the owl, locating what looks like being the first known nest hole of this species as well as being the first birders to see it in daylight and the first to see a pair together. Thanks are due to Magnus Robb and our friends at The Sound Approach for invaluable information and advice as well as recordings of the bird’s voice and also to Johnny ‘Mac’ McLoughlin, with whom we teamed up in our search for the owl. With the owl being so poorly known (from a stretch of wadi only a few km long) and the discovery of a nest site we hope you will excuse our keeping the location secret, at least while it can be studied, including hopefully the collection of DNA, which will add to our knowledge of this special bird. However, there is no doubt that we will be back here again in the not too distant future.

White-tailed Lapwing (Mike Watson)

White-tailed Lapwing (Mike Watson)