27 October - 8 / 10 November 2022
by Hannu Jännes
Birdquest’s thirteenth tour of Oman & Bahrain proved to be a great success for many reasons. We recorded a respectable total of 230 taxa and 51 Birdquest ‘diamond’ species (regional specialities) and saw several great migrants and interesting seabirds. Oman’s special owls have always been one of the highlights of the tour, and we were successful in finding the fairly recently Desert Owl, Arabian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Arabian Eagle-Owl (a recent split from Spotted Eagle-Owl) and Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, a new bird for this tour. 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, Masked and Brown Booby, Verreaux’s Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Red-knobbed Coot, the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing, Crab-plover, Cream-coloured Courser, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Sooty Gull, Spotted, Lichtenstein’s, Crowned and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, African Collared Dove, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Forbes-Watson’s Swift, Sooty Falcon, two forms of Southern Grey Shrike, Fan-tailed Raven, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, White-spectacled Bulbul, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Arabian, Asian Desert and Ménétries’s Warblers, Plain Leaf and Green Warblers, Abyssinian White-eye, Tristram’s Starling, Blackstart, Hume’s, Red-tailed & Arabian Wheatears, Nile Valley, Palestine and Arabian Sunbirds; Arabian Babbler, Rüppell’s Weaver, Yemen Serin, Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak and Striolated Bunting. The African Openbill we found in Salalah was apparently only the second record for the country. The Kingdom of Bahrain weighed in again with a wonderful pre-roost gathering of 144 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, made our stay a very special one as always.
The tour began in the morning at a hotel near Muscat airport, from where we headed straight to the shore of 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 two magnificent adult Sooty Falcons and their recently fledged offspring. Other birds noted during the boat trip included close Socotra Cormorants, adult and juvenile Peregrine Falcon, Western Reef Herons, several Striated Herons, including 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 far too big lunch in a local restaurant. A late afternoon excursion to a nearby agricultural area yielded Grey Francolin, 80 Red-wattled Lapwings, a couple of Pallid Swifts, Eurasian Hoopoes and Indian Rollers, Delicate Prinia (a recent split from Graceful Prinia), Arabian Babbler, many colourful Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and Arabian Bee-eaters (one of the three species that resulted from the recent Little Green Bee-eater split), two Black-winged Kites (a write-in), Indian Silverbills, Red-vented, White-spectacled and White-eared Bulbuls.
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 both of our pre-tour visits to the same wadi on previous days had a similar outcome. We did, however, enjoy good views of a calling Pallid Scops Owl and, later in the morning, we had close encounter with a pair of Little Owls. At dawn we enjoyed a picnic breakfast in this beautiful, remote wadi, and then it was time to enjoy birding in the light after the long dark night. Birds seen 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, Desert Lark, Menetries’s Warblers, a group of four Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, which we flushed from the bottom of the wadi, and couple of confiding Plain Leaf Warblers. After a rest at the hotel and a good lunch we headed for Jabal Akhdar at 2000m asl, arriving just before sunset. After dinner it was time for more owling in a big wadi, where we heard several Pallid Scops Owls and owl calls, unidentified at the time, emanating from the steep cliffs.
Next morning, we headed for the Sayiq plateau, where highlights included a total of five Lappet-faced Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, several Short-toed Snake Eagles, many Brown-necked Ravens, tens of eastern Black Redstarts, a very showy pair of Streaked Scrub Warblers, Pied, Hume’s and Red-tailed Wheatears and Ortolan Bunting. In the evening it was time for more owling and we heard the previous evening’s mystery owl realizing this time that the sounds must belong to a pair of Pharaoh Eagle Owls (a write-in). In addition, we found Red Fox, Arabian Golden Spiny Mouse and Desert Hedgehog during our nocturnal adventure.
Next morning, on the way to Bar Al Hickman we stopped at a site where we found the badly needed Striolated Bunting. We reached the wader paradise of the Bar Al Hickman in the afternoon and admired the hordes of wintering waders that come to feed on the shoreline as it is revealed by the receding tide. The obvious highlight of the wader show was Crab-plover, which was seen well. Other interesting species spotted amongst the hordes of feeding waders included Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstones, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, Dunlin, Little Stint and Terek Sandpiper. On the way back to Al Hij and our pleasant accommodation, we had a short stop for a roadside Greater Hoopoe Lark.
New morning saw us at Filim desalination plant, where the highlights included a very showy Plain Leaf Warbler and two Asian Desert Warblers, a new bird for us. The long drive to our next destination, Qitbit oasis, was interrupted by a couple of comfort stops, one of which resulted in a sighting of Shikra, a lunch break and a longer birding stop at the Al Ghaftayn oasis. This time the oasis was quite birdy and produced a male Asian Koel (always a good bird in Oman), Common Cuckoo, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Green Warbler (another good find), Red-breasted Flycatcher and several Black Redstarts. At Qitbit oasis in the evening we watched a family party of Barn Owls that were flying around calling loudly.
The next day we visited Muntasar oasis, where, whilst waiting for the sandgrouse to arrive, we enjoyed views of an adult male Pallid Harrier, Daurian Shrike, a very brief Common Quail, European Turtle Doves, Citrine Wagtails and Tawny Pipits. Eventually the sandgrouse arrived, and we saw a total of 50 handsome Spotted Sandgrouse. Later we checked melon fields near Qitbit, where we found the only Bimaculated Lark of the trip. In the afternoon we drove to the truck-stop town of Thumrayt, gateway to Oman’s oil and gas fields, for a two-night stay.
Next on the agenda was a visit to Mudday, a small village situated ca 80 kms west of Thumrayt, where we spent the morning. Highlights here included Nile Valley Sunbird, several confiding Blackstarts, sizeable flocks of Chestnut bellied, and smaller numbers of Crowned Sandgrouse, a few African Collared and Namaqua Doves, Sand Partridges and a Rosy Starling. In the afternoon we checked another valley, where Red-tailed Shrike was a new bird for us.
The following day saw us at Shisr, a small village 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. The highlight of our morning session here was a total of nine Sociable Plovers, a critically endangered species, which is never an easy bird to find in Oman. Another important find was a flock of 14 Cream-coloured Coursers. A supporting cast of interesting birds included many White Storks (a new bird for us), a single Collared Pratincole, Greater Spotted Eagles, Eurasian Hobby, several Greater Hoopoe Larks, many Desert and Isabelline Wheatears, Great Grey Shrikes (of the form aucheri), and Western Yellow Wagtails including the forms feldegg and thunbergi. On the way down to Salalah we paid a short visit to Wadi Dokah, a World Heritage site for the Incense Tree Boswellia serrata. In Salalah an 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 Pintail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian and Red-knobbed Coots, Little Grebe, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Wood Sandpiper, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Glossy Ibis and Little Egret.
Our first full day in Salalah started before sunrise in a wadi, where we easily found our main target Arabian Scops Owl. 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 some time to find this gem, but patience paid-off and in the end, we had great views of a bird that came to drink at a trough and then spent time sitting in a tree nearby giving great prolonged views for everyone to enjoy. In addition, Nick had another individual in the same area. Other important birds seen during the morning included many Forbes-Watson’s Swifts, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Paradise Flycatcher, Graceful Prinia, Arabian Warbler, Abyssinian White-eye, Palestine Sunbird, Arabian Sunbird (a recent split from Shining Sunbird), Rüppell’’s Weaver, African Silverbill and many Cinnamon-breasted Buntings. After lunch and a siesta, we paid a short visit to East Khwar, where we added White-tailed Lapwing, Indian Pond Heron and Black-crowned Night Heron to our rapidly growing bird list. Our attempts to find an Arabian Eagle Owl at its day roost didn’t work out as the bird was not at home, but we stayed in the area till dark and managed to locate the calling bird and obtained good views.
Next morning found us at the harbour of Mirbat, where we boarded our boat for a pelagic excursion. During the morning our captain Hateem took us nearly 10 kilometres offshore stopping at regular intervals to chum. The sea was calm, and we enjoyed a great seabird experience with many Jouanin’s Petrels, Persian Shearwaters, a few Masked Boobies, Bridled Terns and a single surprise Flesh-footed Shearwater. In addition, we had a brief sighting of a Brown Noddy and Pekka glimpsed an unidentified storm petrel. After the boat trip we had a relaxed lunch in a local fish restaurant near the harbour. In the afternoon we headed for the mountains east of Salalah visiting Jabal Samhan, a wonderful site on the escarpment. Here we eventually enjoyed the wonderful experience of a pair of displaying Verreaux’s Eagles. We also noted Arabian Wheatears and had close-up views of several Tristram’s Starlings. The last stop of the afternoon was at Tawi Atayr, the site of an immense limestone sinkhole at which 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 time to find the serins, but eventually we managed good views of a flock. In addition, we found a splendid family party of Arabian Partridges and watched the pair of Bonelli’s Eagles that breed here.
The new day started with a pre-breakfast visit to East Khwar, and then it was time to head west stopping first at a site where a Spotted Thick-knee, a new bird for us, was taking a snooze. Next came a visit to the Raysut water treatment plant, where new birds included Abdim’s Stork, Little Ringed Plover, White-winged Tern, Spur-winged Plover and a Little Crake for Mika only. The mixed flock of Spur-winged and Red-wattled Lapwings also held the two hybrid individuals we first discovered here in 2018. After lunch in a local restaurant, we visited the Raysut Beach, an excellent birding site, where the highlight was an African Openbill, apparently only the second record for Oman! In the afternoon we headed for the Al Mughsail area for a seawatch, which produced Sandwich and Lesser Crested Terns, both new birds for us, many Persian Shearwaters, Brown Boobies and 200 Socotra Cormorants. At sunset we headed for the traditional Desert Owl site and bagged this handsome, and very co-operative owl, with ease.
Our last full day in Oman began with a visit to a nearby farm, where we glimpsed a Singing Bush Lark. Then we revisited some of the sites we had previously birded including the day roost site of the Arabian Eagle-Owl, seeing a pair of these magnificent owls in broad daylight, and at a remote beach, we added Pheasant-tailed Jacana and White-breasted Waterhen to the trip list. The next day it was time to say goodbye to those participants, not joining us for the extension before heading for Bahrain for a two-night stay. Thanks to unfavourable flight connections and hassle with the rental car, we didn’t reach our hotel in Bahrain until midnight.
Our full day in Bahrain began around the arid hills, 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 three new birds; Eurasian Skylark, Water Pipit and Greater Short-toed Lark. Later we headed for a seated lunch and then spent the afternoon 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 with purpose towards their roosting area. They really are unique superb-looking birds, so reminiscent of waxwings in their appearance and behaviour. We counted 144 of these excellent birds during the afternoon. In the evening our local contact, Abdullah, took us to two different farms, where we tried to locate Egyptian Nightjar, but had to settle for two hunting Barn Owls.
BIRD OF THE TRIP (MAIN TOUR)
1st: Verreaux’s Eagle
2nd: Desert Owl
4th: Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak
5th: Arabian Partridge
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED
Garganey Spatula querquedula
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Grey Francolin Ortygornis pondicerianus
Sand Partridge ◊ Ammoperdix heyi Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and Middle East.
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Arabian Partridge ◊ Alectoris melanocephala Endemic to southern half of the Arabian Peninsula.
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
Forbes-Watson’s Swift ◊ Apus berliozi Endemic to southern Oman and Socotra.
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
Spotted Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles senegallus
Crowned Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles coronatus
Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles lichtensteinii
Rock Dove Columba livia
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
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
Little Crake ◊ Zapornia parva
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
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 Lapwing Two hybrid individuals we discovered in 2018 were still alive and well at the sewage works in Salalah.
Sociable Lapwing ◊ Vanellus gregarius Critically endangered.
White-tailed Lapwing ◊ Vanellus leucurus
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey Plover (Black-bellied P) Pluvialis squatarola
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius [mongolus] atrifrons If the two-way split of Lesser Sand Plover is accepted, the form we encountered will become Tibetan Sand Plover.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
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
Broad-billed Sandpiper ◊ Calidris falcinellus
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
Sanderling Calidris alba
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Little Stint Calidris minuta
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 Noted at Barr Al Hikman and in Salalah.
Cream-colored Courser Cursorius cursor
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus
Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei
Sooty Gull ◊ Ichthyaetus hemprichii
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Lesser Black-backed Gull ◊ (Baltic G) Larus [fuscus] fuscus
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
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.
African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus The one we found in Salalah was apparently only the second record for Oman.
Abdim’s Stork Ciconia abdimii
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
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Western Reef Heron (W R Egret) Egretta gularis
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
Crested Honey Buzzard (Oriental HB) Pernis ptilorhynchus
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos
Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
Verreaux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii Great flight show by a displaying pair in the Salalah area.
Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata
Shikra Accipiter badius
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
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.
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl ◊ Bubo ascalaphus Heard only.
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.
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
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Sooty Falcon ◊ Falco concolor
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
Isabelline Shrike (Daurian Shrike) Lanius isabellinus
Red-tailed Shrike (Turkestan S) Lanius phoenicuroides
Great Grey Shrike (Southern G S) Lanius [excubitor] aucheri
Great Grey Shrike ◊ (Steppe G S) Lanius [excubitor] pallidirostris
African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
House Crow (introduced) Corvus splendens
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis
Fan-tailed Raven ◊ Corvus rhipidurus
Grey Hypocolius ◊ Hypocolius ampelinus A total of 144 were counted at the pre-roost gathering in Bahrain.
Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark ◊ Eremopterix nigriceps
Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Bimaculated Lark Melanocorypha bimaculata
Red-vented Bulbul (introduced) Pycnonotus cafer
White-eared Bulbul (introduced) 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
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Plain Leaf Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus neglectus
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Green Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus nitidus
Clamorous Reed Warbler (Indian R W) Acrocephalus [stentoreus] brunnescens
Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides Heard only.
Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis Common around Salalah.
Delicate Prinia Prinia lepida This recent split from Graceful Prinia was common around Muscat and in Bahrain.
Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Lesser Whitethroat Curruca curruca The form we encountered is halimodendri.
Arabian Warbler ◊ Curruca leucomelaena
Asian Desert Warbler ◊ Curruca nana
Menetries’s Warbler ◊ Curruca mystacea
Abyssinian White-eye (White-breasted W-e) Zosterops abyssinicus
Arabian Babbler ◊ Argya squamiceps Endemic to Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Rosy Starling (Rose-coloured S) Pastor roseus
Tristram’s Starling ◊ (T Grackle) Onychognathus tristramii
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
European Stonechat (B) Saxicola rubicola
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
Blackstart ◊ Oenanthe melanura
Hume’s Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe albonigra
Mourning Wheatear ◊ (B) (Iranian W, Persian W) Oenanthe [lugens] persica One in Bahrain.
Arabian Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe lugentoides Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.
Red-tailed Wheatear ◊ (Persian W, Rufous-t W) Oenanthe chrysopygia
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
Western Yellow Wagtail ◊ (Yellow-headed W) Motacilla [flava] lutea
Western Yellow Wagtail (Black-headed W) Motacilla [flava] feldegg
Western Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed W) Motacilla [flava] thunbergi
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak ◊ Rhynchostruthus percivali Great views near Salalah! Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen Serin ◊ Crithagra menachensis Endemic to southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
Striolated Bunting ◊ (Striated B) Emberiza striolata
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (African Rock B) Emberiza tahapisi
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
Five-striped Palm Squirrel (introduced) Funambulus pennata
Desert Hedgehog Paraechinus aethiopicus
Arabian Golden Spiny Mouse Acomys russatus
(List compiled by Bob Orenstein)
Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizard Acanthodactylus boskianus
Cat Fringe-fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus felicis
Hadramawt Sand Lizard Mesalina adramitana
Rock Semaphore Gecko Pristurus rupestris
Northern House Gecko Hemidactylus flaviviridis
Toad-headed Agama Phrynocephalus sp.
Desert Agama Pseudotrapelus sp.
Oriental Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor Introduced.
Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Caretta caretta