Category Archives: Birds of Oman march 2012

Birds to be seen in March 2012 in Salalah & the desert

Identification of Sternula Terns in Asia/Africa

When you are going to eastern Arabia in spring, you have good chances to see (and compare) 2 small terns of the genus Sternula. Sternula is a genus of small white terns, which is often subsumed into the larger genus Sterna. Saunder’s Tern, Sternula saundersi, was formerly considered to be subspecies of Little Tern but is now regarded a valid species besides the Little Tern, Sternula albifrons. Both species are never easy to separate in identification.

This  very interesting article   Birds of India: Identification of Sternula Terns in Asia/Africa might give some advice!

Here some more pictures for those birders who visit the Emirates or Oman.

In the Emirates (UAE) the Little Tern Continue reading Identification of Sternula Terns in Asia/Africa

Pratincole in Oman´s deserts

These pictures are from Dawkah Farm on 10th of march 2012. Migration time in the desert could be very rewarding as surprises could arise everywhere. So happens with this pratincole with a wine-red underwing. First I thought of course of a. But looking at the photos I did not find the white trailing edge on the wing. The wash of orange on underparts are quite extensive and the red on the bill is restricted to the very beginning of the bill. I am thinking of Oriental Pratincole but cannot exclude Collared Pratincole, either. More pictures, you will find under “Photo” in the Gallery. Who can help?

Young Pale Crag-Martin in flight over Oman

Pale Crag-Martin over the Oman Desert. Early spring in the desert could be very rewarding as surprises could arise everywhere. The birder has a chance to see birds in migration and to see the first birds breeding. A surprise was this Pale Crag-Martin, Hirundo obsolete or Ptyonoprogne obsolete patrolling over the little nice oasis of Mudday in the north-western corner of Dhofar/ Oman.

Interesting features of this particular bird were a yellow gape flange and a whitish-grey rump contrasting with the lead-grey back. These characters suggest a juvenile individual. The flight however has been very swift and showed that the bird was not an inexperienced one. Photos of a young Pale Crag-Martin I have never seen in the internet galleries. Bird-Lens is proud to present this nice pictures and more you will find in the gallery under Pale Crag-Marting of Oman. Bird Lens hopes that these images are of value for other birders, too.

Pale Crag-Martin, Hirundo obsoleta is a split of the widespread Rock Martin, Hirundo fuligula, and has been treated as a subspecies of the Rock Martin,  Hirundo fuligula obsoleta before.

Continue reading Young Pale Crag-Martin in flight over Oman

A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye

Most pictures of Steppe Eagle you find in the internet are from falconry or zoos. But the keen birdwatchter want the right stuff. Here you can see Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, in the wild. Photographed in the desert environment of Dhofar/Oman near the city of Salalah. To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic, Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. Part of the images gained are photos of Baillon’s Crake, Heuglin’s Gull and Imperial Eagle. The behaviour of Steppe Eagles is not very eagle-like. They prefer to scavange but are able to kill their own prey, too. This is the reason, that Steppe Eagles can be found on garbage dumps in Arabia where they find easy food supply on carcasses of livestock and slaughterhouse waste. Continue reading A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye

The Brahminy Starling: a vagrant from India at the coast of Oman

Brahminy Starling: a vagrant from India at the coast of Oman. Migration time in Oman is prime birdwatching time. After having seen Moustached Warbler and Savi’s Warbler in the middle of the Oman´s deserts, now I can present the 3rd bird, which will be announced via a Rare Bird Report to the Oman Bird Records Committee.

About the distribution and the habitat of this starling, it is said, that it is a resident breeder in Nepal and India and a winter visitor to Sri Lanka. This passerine bird is usually found in dry forest and cultivation and is often found close to human habitations. These birds like to roost in leafy trees as it happened here, in a small wadi near Sadah. Coordinates: N 17° 03´5169´´ E 55°04´4054´´.  Both birds were very reluctant to show up. If I would not have spend a minimum of 2 hours to photograph Pale Crack-Martin, Hirundo obsoleta,  on a nest built under the roof of a prayer hall, I would probably missed this species. Continue reading The Brahminy Starling: a vagrant from India at the coast of Oman

Moustached Warbler in the middle of the Oman Desert

Migration time in the desert could be very rewarding as surprises could arise everywhere. So happens with a Moustached Warbler, Acrocephalus melanopogon, in the little nice oasis of Mudday in the north-western corner of Dhofar/ Oman.

This passerine bird is a species found in upright aquatic vegetation such as reeds and sedge as it happens in this oasis, too. Found in a tiny patch of reed of a size of maybe 2 squaremeters right in the middle of a concrete pool, which exhibits the core of the oasis area. The oasis was otherwise densely covered by stands of date palms. This bird normally keeps well hidden in dense vegetation and is only located by it´s rattling sound. If once located by their characteristic calls, it might happen, that the bird feels treated when agitated by the sound of a tape recorder. In that case on the 10th of march 2012, at around 10:00 I was successful in shooting the photo of the blog and more pictures, you will see here!

This Old World warbler in the genus Acrocephalus breeds mainly in southern Europe and southern temperate Asia. Continue reading Moustached Warbler in the middle of the Oman Desert