27 October - 8 / 10 November 2023

by Hannu Jännes

This was Birdquest’s fourteenth tour of Oman & Bahrain and once again proved to be a great success. We recorded a respectable total of 236 taxa of which 54 were Birdquest ‘diamond’ species (regional specialities) and saw several interesting migrants and seabirds. Oman’s special owls have always been a highlight of the tour, and we were successful in finding the newly described Desert Owl, Arabian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Arabian Eagle-Owl (a recent split from Spotted Eagle-Owl), plus two Eurasian Scops Owls, a new bird for this tour. Unfortunately, some foul weather affected our owling time when chasing the legendary Omani Owl, and we had to make do with a ‘heard only’ observation. A mix of Middle Eastern specialities and sought-after migrants encountered on the tour included Arabian and Sand Partridges, Socotra Cormorant, Persian and Flesh-footed Shearwaters, Jouanin’s Petrel, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel (the first ones since 2011), Masked and Brown Booby, Verreaux’s Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Red-knobbed Coot, the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing, over a thousand Crab-plovers, good numbers of Cream-coloured Coursers, hundreds of Sooty Gulls, Spotted, Lichtenstein’s, Crowned and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, African Collared Dove, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Forbes-Watson’s Swift, Sooty Falcon, two forms of Grey Shrike, Fan-tailed Raven, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, White-spectacled Bulbul, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Arabian, Asian Desert, Eastern Orphean and Ménétries’s Warblers, Plain Leaf Warbler, Abyssinian White-eye, Tristram’s Starling, Blackstart, Hume’s, Red-tailed and Arabian Wheatears, Nile Valley, Palestine and Arabian Sunbirds, Arabian Babbler, Rüppell’s Weaver, Yemen Serin, Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak and Striolated Bunting. As always, hard work in the field produced unexpected bonus species, which this year included Bank Myna, Indian White-eye, White-eyed Gull, Lesser and Common Noddy and Oriental Turtle Dove. The Kingdom of Bahrain weighed in again with a wonderful pre-roost gathering of ca75 Grey Hypocolius and Persian Mourning Wheatear.
Oman remains the safest country in the Middle East with stunning landscapes, a great road network, generally good food and accommodation throughout and a warm welcome for tourists. In Bahrain our wonderful host, Abdullah, did his best to help us to find our target birds.

The tour began in the morning at a hotel near Muscat airport, from where we headed straight to the shore of the Gulf of Oman at Ras as Sawadi, a low-lying promontory just west of Muscat, and boarded two boats that took us around the small islets, where we had great views of adult and recently fledged juvenile Sooty Falcons. Other birds noted during the boat trip included Western Reef Herons and several Striated Herons, which included individuals of the very dark local colour morph together with quite standard ones. After checking the gulls, terns and waders on the beach and finding a Steppe Grey Shrike, now lumped back to Great Grey Shrike, further inland, we indulged in a big lunch in a local Indian restaurant. A late afternoon excursion to a nearby agricultural area produced Grey Francolins, Red-wattled Lapwings, Eurasian Hoopoes, Indian and European Rollers, a showy female Pied Wheatear, Delicate Prinia (a recent split from Graceful Prinia), many colourful Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and Arabian Bee-eaters (one of the three species that resulted from the recent split of Little Green Bee-eater), Bank Myna (a new bird for the itinerary), Indian Silverbill and Red-vented, White-spectacled and White-eared Bulbuls. We still needed one important Arabian endemic in the region, so we moved on and, after a search, we found our target, a group of very co-operative Arabian Babblers.

Very early the next morning we headed for the Al Hajar mountains and Wadi ’Mac’, home of the legendary Omani Owl, which unfortunately we couldn’t find this time. This wasn’t a completely unexpected result as I had spent the best parts of two nights in the same wadi on my pre-tour recce with similar outcome. We did, however, have good views of a calling Pallid Scops Owl. As dawn broke, we were enjoying a picnic breakfast in the beautiful, remote wadi, then time for birding in the daylight. Birds included several Hume’s Wheatears (what a great song it has), Red-tailed Wheatear, Streaked Scrub Warbler (a must-see bird for family listers), Long-billed Pipit, Striolated Bunting, Desert Lark, a group of three Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse flushed from the bottom of the wadi, and two confiding Plain Leaf Warblers. After taking a rest at the hotel and a good lunch we headed for Jabal Akhdar at 2000m asl, arriving there in the late afternoon. After dinner in a local restaurant at the base of the mountain it was time for more owling in a big wadi. The hopes were high as I had heard the Omani Owl here during my recce just four days earlier, but this time we had no luck despite staying in the area until well past midnight. Some consolation was hearing several calling Pallid Scops Owls and Little Owls, which we eventually managed to see.

Next morning saw us at the Sayiq plateau, where we visited several promising looking valleys. Highlights included a total of four Lappet-faced Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, many Brown-necked Ravens, eastern Black Redstarts, Menetries, one Barred and three Eastern Orphean Warblers, numerous Lesser and a couple of Common Whitethroats, a pair of Streaked Scrub Warblers, Pied, Hume’s and Red-tailed Wheatears and Common Rock Thrush. It was also good to connect with an Oriental Turtle Dove, a rare bird in Oman. In the evening we did more owling, but unfortunately the weather with high winds and rain became so bad that we decided to return to our accommodation early. After a short night’s sleep, part of the group was ready for more owling in the early hours, when conditions were much improved. We soon heard the distinctive call of the Omani Owl, but unfortunately, the bird decided to stay on the distant, high cliffs and we simply ran out of sufficient time to maneuver closer. Back at our accommodation we had a good breakfast before revisiting a valley near the hotel for more views of the Oriental Turtle Dove and other birds we had seen the previous day. Then we headed for the lowlands and the tidal shores of Barr Al Hickman. We reached the village of Al Hij in early afternoon and after a very decent lunch in a local restaurant and checking in to our pleasant accommodation, we did some late afternoon birding. The first stop was at a promising roadside spot, where we soon located a very confiding and photogenic Asian Desert Warbler, a new bird for the trip. A visit to the shoreline gave us the first taste of the great wader show the huge Barr Al Hickman area has to offer. Amongst the hordes of feeding waders, we identified Grey and Common Ringed Plovers, Greater and Tibetan Sand Plovers, Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank and a distant flock of 50 Crab-plovers.

Next morning, at sunrise, we were back at the shoreline, where we found, thanks to John’s sharp eyes, a group of three Indian White-eyes, a new bird for this tour, flitting around the mangroves. This species has been known to occur regularly in only one place in Oman, on a small island few kilometers offshore from here, but in last couple of years it has been seen here in the coastal mangroves. We then headed for another part of the tidal flats at the Barr, where huge numbers of palearctic waders are known to roost. The rising tide was pushing masses of waders towards us and the high tide roosting sites further inland providing the opportunity to admire massive flocks which included over 1000 Crab-plovers both feeding on the shore and flying past us. Unfortunately, soon after, whilst looking for another wader watching spot, two of our vehicles got stuck in the sand, and it took quite some time and effort to get us out and back to terra firma. Completely mud-caked and exhausted after working hard in the heat (+33˚ C), we decided to leave the area and head for new pastures!

The long drive to our next destination, Qitbit oasis, was interrupted by a couple of comfort stops, a photo op at some impressive sand dunes, a lunch break and a longer birding stop at the Al Ghaftayn oasis. The oasis was rather quiet, but we managed to find a Red-breasted Flycatcher, Pied Wheatear and, best of all, a European Scops Owl, a new bird for the itinerary, hiding in an acacia. At Qitbit oasis in the evening we watched a confiding European Nightjar, before heading to another oasis, where we soon located some Egyptian Nightjars with brilliant close-up views of one. In addition, Dave found another very approachable European Nightjar.

The next day we were back in the oasis, where, whilst waiting for the sandgrouse to arrive, we enjoyed yet another field breakfast and had great views of a juvenile Cream-coloured Courser, several Greater Hoopoe-Larks, Daurian Shrike, Whinchat, a scarce bird on this itinerary, Bluethroat (for some), Masked Wagtail (a form of White Wagtail) and Tawny Pipit. Eventually the sandgrouse arrived, and we saw a total of 22 handsome Spotted Sandgrouse. In the afternoon on the way to the truck-stop town of Thumrayt, we visited a complex of several farms in the middle of the central desert, where cultivation of grass on a large scale has created a premier staging point for migrating and wintering birds. Here, despite the gale force wind, we managed to find new birds including African Collared Dove spotted by Richard, several Montagu’s Harriers, Greater Spotted Eagle, Abdim’s and White Storks and a large flock of Greater Short-toed Larks.
The following morning was spent in Mudday, a small village situated ca 80 kms west of Thumrayt. Highlights here included several confiding Blackstarts, sizeable flocks of Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse, a few African Collared and Namaqua Doves, Sand Partridges, Golden Oriole, our first Tristram’s Starling and African Silverbills, and a male Hooded Wheatear. In the afternoon we checked another area of farms, where we connected with our main target Sociable Lapwing, and spent a fair amount of time admiring a flock of 15 of this critically endangered species. Other birds seen during the afternoon included an amazing number (ca 100) of Cream-coloured Coursers in this agricultural area.

The following morning, we were back in the general area of Mudday, where our aim was to try and find couple of species, we had missed the previous day. The first, Nile Valley Sunbird, gave up quite easily and showed well in a small wadi while we were enjoying our breakfast. The other, Crowned Sandgrouse, took longer, but, eventually, we located a total of 16 birds coming to drink at a small pool. After a lunch in Thumrayt we headed down to the coast and the city of Salalah. On the way we paid a quick visit to Wadi Dokah, a World Heritage site for the Incense Tree Boswellia serrata and had a longer stop at the Thumrayt landfill, with its many eagles, the most common of which was Steppe Eagle, but we also found couple of Imperial Eagles, two Lappet-faced Vultures and a Griffon Vulture, a rare bird on this itinerary. Also, there was a female Arabian Wheatear that was a new bird for the trip. In Salalah a late afternoon visit to the magnificent East Khwar gave us an opportunity to get close-up views of a number of wetland species, many of which were new for the trip, including Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Common Moorhen, Eurasian and Red-knobbed Coots, Little Grebe, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Temmink’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, African Sacred Ibis, Squacco and Indian Pond Herons and Graceful Prinia.

Our first full day in Salalah began before sunrise in a wadi, where we soon found our main target Arabian Scops Owl, which eventually provided good views for all. We also heard a duetting pair of Arabian Eagle-Owls, and it didn’t take us long to find the male of the pair and enjoy great views of this beast of a bird. Next stop was at another wadi, where our main target was the Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak, perhaps the most wanted species in the whole of Dhofar area. This year it took quite a time to find it, but patience paid-off and in the end, we had great views of a bird that sat in trees around a trough giving good, protracted views for everyone to enjoy. Other important birds seen during the morning included a flock of seven Arabian Partridges offering brilliant scope views, a single Jacobin Cuckoo, Bonelli’s and Short-toed Snake Eagle, Forbes-Watson’s Swifts, some Bruce’s Green Pigeons, four Grey-headed Kingfishers, skulking Black-crowned Tchagras, many African Paradise Flycatchers and Graceful Prinias, Arabian Warblers, three Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, many Abyssinian White-eyes, one or two Palestine Sunbirds, Arabian Sunbird (a recent split from Shining Sunbird), Rüppell’’s Weaver, African Silverbill, many Cinnamon-breasted Buntings and a beautiful Arabian Chameleon well spotted by Richard. After lunch and a siesta, we visited yet another wadi, where after a search, we had brilliant close-up views of another Arabian Eagle-Owl. Back at the East Khwar in the late afternoon we added Rosy Starlings to our rapidly growing bird list.

Next morning found us at the harbour of Mirbat, where we boarded our boat for a pelagic excursion. During the morning our captain took us several kilometres offshore stopping at regular intervals to chum on the calm sea. This year’s pelagic was the best I have ever done here, and we enjoyed a great seabird experience with many Jouanin’s Petrels, twenty Masked Boobies, a few Persian Shearwaters, the first Socotra Cormorant of the tour, Arctic and Pomarine Skua, many Bridled Terns, several Flesh-footed Shearwaters, 30 or so Wilson’s Storm Petrels and three Swinhoe’s Storm Petrels, a lifer for nearly everyone on the boat! In addition, on the way back to the harbour, John spotted a Lesser Noddy, a new bird for this tour, in a flock of Bridled Terns. After the boat trip we had a relaxed lunch in a fish restaurant near the harbour. Whilst waiting for the food to arrive, Mike decided to test someone’s pair of binoculars and focused them on the nearest gull, which proved to be a White-eyed Gull, a new bird for this itinerary! In the afternoon we headed for the mountains east of Salalah visiting Jabal Samhan, a wonderful site on the escarpment. This is where we normally see the amazing Verreaux’s Eagle, but unfortunately the whole area was covered in cloud, which made it impossible to see anything. Some consolation was offered by a pair of rather confiding Arabian Wheatears. The last stop of the afternoon was at Tawi Atayr, the site of an immense limestone sinkhole where Yemen Serin was found by cavers in 1997 more than 1000km from the nearest population in Yemen (although it has since been found at another sinkhole to the west of Salalah). It took some time and effort to find the serin, but eventually we managed good views of a small group. In addition, a pair of Bonelli’s Eagles, that breed in the sinkhole, showed well as did a gorgeous male Palestine Sunbird and some of the group had splendid views of Arabian Partridge.

The new day started with a pre-breakfast visit to the agricultural areas, where we soon found our main target, Singing Bushlark, which showed well whilst singing from a fence post. Other additions to our bird list were a small flock of Scaly-breasted Munias and a pair Spotted Thick-knees hiding under a bush and well spotted by Richard. After breakfast we visited the river mouth near Raysut, where a Caspian Gull, good numbers of Caspian and Greater Crested Terns, five hundred Socotra and one Great Cormorant and an Eurasian Hobby provided the entertainment, despite an army patrol arriving on the scene and asking us to leave the area and causing us to move to the opposite side of the river to continue birding. We then visited the Raysut water treatment plant, a very birdy place, but unfortunately nowadays closed to visitors. We did however scan the area through the fence and found, amongst the large numbers of birds we had seen earlier on the tour, a single Spur-winged Plover, Red-wattled Lapwings and the two Spur-winged Plover x Red-wattled Lapwing hybrids we first discovered here in 2018. In the afternoon we headed for the Al Mughsail area for a short seawatch session, which produced Brown Boobies and around ten Brown Noddies, both new species for us, a handful of Persian Shearwaters, a single Jouanin’s Petrel and few Socotra Cormorants. At sunset we headed for the traditional Desert Owl site and bagged this very co-operative owl with ease. It is no wonder that this very charismatic owl was voted bird of the trip for the second time in a row.

Our last full day in Oman began with a visit to Khwar Rowri, where, whilst having our last field breakfast of the tour, we had good views of two Jacobin Cuckoos, a fine adult Imperial Eagle, several Forbes-Watson’s Swifts and, best of all, another European Scops Owl, this time found by Dave. Then we revisited the mountains at Jabal Samhan for our second attempt at the Verreaux’s Eagle. The weather was again cloudy, but we still managed multiple great views of a displaying pair of these magnificent eagles. We also had good scope views of an Arabian Partridge and watched Fan-tailed Ravens as they flew around. Lunch was enjoyed in the fish restaurant in Mirbat harbour. The afternoon began with a visit to Sumhuran Archaelogical Park at Khwar Rowri, where, amongst the commoner waders, Diedert picked up a Pin-tailed Snipe, a new bird for the trip. Later, whilst enjoying refreshments at a coffee shop next to the Sumhuran ruins, we had the opportunity to listen to the distinctive calls of Forbes-Watson’s Swifts as they flew high in the vivid blue sky. The day was rounded off at East Khwar, where an Intermediate Egret, a new bird for the tour, was seen.

The next day was time to say goodbye to Dave and Andreas, who were not joining us for the extension, before heading for Bahrain for a two-night stay. The journey to Bahrain went smoothly and we arrived in our comfortable hotel in Manama around sunset.
Our full day in Bahrain began around the arid hills of Jabal ad Dukhan, where, after a search, we managed to locate our main target, the Persian Mourning Wheatear, a potential split from Mourning Wheatear. The Bahrain racecourse yielded two new birds with Grey-headed Swamphen and Water Pipit before heading off for a delicious lunch. The afternoon was spent in the Hypocolius pre-roost area, which consists of patches of acacia scrub, where the birds congregate before flying off to their roost, presumably in the palms of VIP gardens. As usual, there was no large build up, just lots of comings and goings. The birds tower from the scrub as they leave and head off purposefully towards their roosting area. They really are unique, superb-looking birds, so reminiscent of waxwings in their appearance and behaviour. We counted around 75 of these excellent birds during the afternoon. Back at the hotel we had great dinner and drinks after which it was time to say our goodbyes, and to thank everyone for their excellent company, which, together with all the wonderful birds and exciting places combined to make such a memorable trip. Special thanks to my assistant guides Dave and Diedert, who did such a great job driving their vehicles and making sure that we had plenty of hot water for coffee every morning!





1 = Desert Owl

2 = Grey Hypocolius & Greater Hoopoe-Lark

3 = Arabian Eagle-Owl

4 = Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel & Sooty Falcon

5 = Sociable Lapwing



Garganey Spatula querquedula

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata

Northern Pintail Anas acuta

Eurasian Teal Anas crecca

Grey Francolin (introduced) Ortygornis pondicerianus

Sand Partridge ◊ Ammoperdix heyi Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and Middle East.

Arabian Partridge ◊ Alectoris melanocephala Endemic to southern half of the Arabian Peninsula.

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus Brilliant views in an oasis in the middle of the vast desert.

Egyptian Nightjar ◊ Caprimulgus aegyptius Brilliant views in an oasis in the middle of the vast desert.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus non-leader

Forbes-Watson’s Swift ◊ Apus berliozi Endemic to southern Oman and Socotra.

Jacobin Cuckoo (Pied C) Clamator jacobinus Three individuals of this Indian-African migrant.

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus

Spotted Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles senegallus

Crowned Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles coronatus

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles lichtensteinii

Rock Dove Columba livia

Oriental Turtle Dove (Rufous T D) Streptopelia orientalis

Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

African Collared Dove ◊ Streptopelia roseogrisea

Laughing Dove (Palm D) Spilopelia senegalensis

Namaqua Dove Oena capensis

Bruce’s Green Pigeon ◊ Treron waalia

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata

Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus One in Bahrain. New bird for this itinerary.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus

Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis

Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus

Spur-winged x Red-wattled LapwingVanellus spinosus x indicus Two hybrid individuals we discovered in 2018 were still alive and well at the sewage works in Salalah.

Sociable Lapwing ◊ Vanellus gregarius A flock of 15 in the grass fields of one of the farms along the road to Shisr. Critically endangered.

Grey Plover (Black-bellied P) Pluvialis squatarola

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii

Tibetan Sand Plover Charadrius atrifrons The good old Lesser Sand Plover is now split into Siberian Sand Plover and Tibetan Sand Plover, which is the form we see on this tour.

Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Ruff Calidris pugnax

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii

Sanderling Calidris alba

Dunlin Calidris alpina

Little Stint Calidris minuta

Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus

Common Redshank Tringa totanus

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Crab-plover Dromas ardeola Over thousand birds were seen at a high tide roost in Barr Al Hikman.

Cream-colored Courser Cursorius cursor

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus

Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris One from the Mirbat pelagic. New bird for this itinerary.

Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus

White-eyed Gull ◊ Ichthyaetus leucopthalmus One at the Mirbat Harbour. New bird for this itinerary.

Sooty Gull ◊ Ichthyaetus hemprichii

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus [fuscus] heuglini

Lesser Black-backed Gull ◊ (Steppe G) Larus [fuscus] barabensis

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia

Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii

Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis

Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis

Little Tern Sternula albifrons

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida

White-winged Tern (W-w Black T) Chlidonias leucopterus

Pomarine Jaeger (P Skua) Stercorarius pomarinus

Parasitic Jaeger (Arctic Skua) Stercorarius parasiticus

Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus

Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel ◊ Hydrobates monorhis This is the first time I have seen this species from the boat in Oman. A rare treat!

Flesh-footed Shearwater Ardenna carneipes

Persian Shearwater ◊ Puffinus persicus Endemic to seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula.

Jouanin’s Petrel ◊ Bulweria fallax Endemic to seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula.

Abdim’s Stork Ciconia abdimii

Black Stork Ciconia nigra non-leader

White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Masked Booby Sula dactylatra

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Socotra Cormorant ◊ Phalacrocorax nigrogularis Endemic to seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula.

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron Butorides striata

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea

Great Egret Ardea alba

Medium Egret Ardea intermedia With the very recent three way split of Intermediate Egret, the form we encountered becomes Medium Egret Ardea intermedia.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Western Reef Heron (W R Egret) Egretta gularis

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus

Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos

Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca

Verreaux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii

Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus

Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus

Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus

Western Barn Owl Tyto alba

Little Owl Athene noctua

Pallid Scops Owl ◊ (Striated S O) Otus brucei

Arabian Scops Owl ◊ Otus pamelae Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops Seen twice, a new bird for this itinerary.

Arabian Eagle-Owl ◊ Bubo milesi Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Desert Owl ◊ Strix hadorami Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

Omani Owl ◊ Strix butleri heard only

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis

European Roller Coracias garrulus

Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

Arabian Green Bee-eater ◊ Merops cyanophrys Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Sooty Falcon ◊ Falco concolor

Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Peregrine Falcon ◊ (Barbary F) Falco [peregrinus] pelegrinoides

Senegal Parrot (introduced) Poicephalus senegalus New bird for this itinerary.

Rose-ringed Parakeet (introduced) Psittacula krameri

Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus

Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus

African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

Great Grey Shrike (Southern G S) Lanius [excubitor] aucheri

Great Grey Shrike ◊ (Steppe G S) Lanius [excubitor] pallidirostris

Isabelline Shrike (Daurian Shrike) Lanius isabellinus

Red-tailed Shrike (Turkestan S) Lanius phoenicuroides

House Crow (introduced) Corvus splendens

Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis

Fan-tailed Raven ◊ Corvus rhipidurus

Grey Hypocolius ◊ Hypocolius ampelinus

Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes

Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark ◊ Eremopterix nigriceps

Singing Bush Lark Mirafra javanica

Crested Lark Galerida cristata

Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla

Red-vented Bulbul (introduced) Pycnonotus cafer

White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis

White-spectacled Bulbul ◊ (Yellow-vented B) Pycnonotus xanthopygos

Sand Martin (Bank Swallow) Riparia riparia

Pale Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne obsoleta

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Streaked Scrub Warbler ◊ Scotocerca inquieta

Plain Leaf Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus neglectus

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita

Clamorous Reed Warbler (Indian R W) Acrocephalus [stentoreus] brunnescens

Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida

Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis Common in the south of Oman.

Delicate Prinia Prinia lepida This recent split from Graceful Prinia was common around Muscat.

Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla

Barred Warbler Curruca nisoria

Lesser Whitethroat Curruca curruca

Arabian Warbler ◊ Curruca leucomelaena

Eastern Orphean Warbler Curruca crassirostris

Asian Desert Warbler ◊ Curruca nana

Menetries’s Warbler ◊ Curruca mystacea

Common Whitethroat Curruca communis

Abyssinian White-eye (White-breasted W-e) Zosterops abyssinicus

Indian White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus A new bird for this itinerary.

Arabian Babbler ◊ Argya squamiceps Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

Bank Myna (introduced) Acridotheres ginginianus A new bird for this itinerary.

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis

Rosy Starling (Rose-coloured S) Pastor roseus

Tristram’s Starling ◊ (T Grackle) Onychognathus tristramii

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Common Rock Thrush (Rufous-tailed R T) Monticola saxatilis

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina

Hooded Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe monacha

Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti

Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka

Blackstart ◊ Oenanthe melanura

Mourning Wheatear ◊ (B) Oenanthe [lugens] persica

Red-tailed Wheatear ◊ (Persian W, Rufous-t W) Oenanthe chrysopygia

Hume’s Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe albonigra

Arabian Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe lugentoides Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Nile Valley Sunbird ◊ Hedydipna metallica

Palestine Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris osea Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

Arabian Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris hellmayri Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Rüppell’s Weaver ◊ Ploceus galbula

African Silverbill Euodice cantans

Indian Silverbill ◊ Euodice malabarica

Scaly-breasted Munia (introduced) Lonchura punctulata

Western Yellow Wagtail ◊ Motacilla flava

Western Yellow Wagtail ◊ (Sykes’s W) Motacilla [flava] beema

Yellow x Citrine Wagtail Motacilla flava x citreolaAn interesting looking individual in Salalah showed some mixed characters between these two species.

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

White Wagtail Motacilla alba

White Wagtail ◊ (Masked W) Motacilla [alba] personata

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris

Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis heard only

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta

Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak ◊ Rhynchostruthus percivali Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen Serin ◊ Crithagra menachensis Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Striolated Bunting ◊ (Striated B) Emberiza striolata

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (African Rock B) Emberiza tahapisi



Red Fox Vulpes vulpes

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops aduncus

Cape Hare Lepus capensis

Five-striped Palm Squirrel (introduced) Funambulus pennata



Carter’s Rock Gecko Pristurus carteri

Arabian Chameleon Chameleo arabicus

Oriental Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor