See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1.
We saw a couple of subspecies of the Southern Gray Shrike, including this aucheri individual -- though (given the complexity of Southern Gray Shrike taxonomy) quite what this taxon is remains to be seen! Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
This was the sixth Field Guides trip to Arabia (and my ninth), and was again an exciting and varied experience, despite it being unusually dry in Oman, with relatively few passerine migrants about. We began in the rather astonishing city of Dubai, where this year we had a much better and more convenient hotel as our base, albeit with beer at an eye-watering $15 per pint! We covered a number of desert sites with Mark, our excellent local guide, before going to Abu Dhabi with its extraordinary architecture and horribly distant Hypocolius roost.
Exciting birds were many and highlights included a vagrant Great White Pelican, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Greater Spotted Eagle, Crab Plover, Great Knot, Desert, Isabelline, Hume's, Hooded, Variable, and Red-tailed wheatears, Plain Leaf-Warbler, Scrub Warbler, and (once again) a day-roosting Pallid Scops-Owl. The new desert park at Bab al Shams gave an Imperial Eagle, and both Pin-tailed and Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse. Outstanding mammals here included some very nice Mountain Gazelles with a couple of the rare Goitered (Sand) Gazelle amongst them (a lifer mammal for us all), whilst a herd of the legendary Arabian Oryx with two babies were around the feeding areas, pending release into the park.
Then it was out to the huge oasis at Al Ain and the bleak beauty of Jebel Hafeet -- oddly enough in the rain this year! Egyptian Vulture made an appearance here as did Desert Lark and Hume’s and Hooded wheatears, but a major highlight was finding an Arabian Tahr in the late afternoon.
Crossing into Oman at Buraimi was uneventful. Good birds here included Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Scrub Warbler and both Hume's and Red-tailed wheatears. Then we drove some four hours on an amazingly good, new highway to the ancient capital of Nizwa, seeing a Lappet-faced Vulture en route. A visit to the souk and fort at Nizwa made for an interesting couple of hours the following morning, whilst a stop in a nearby wadi gave us the only Menetries's Warbler of the trip and a fine Long-billed Pipit.
Muscat birding gave us Pallas's Gull, the first of many Sooty Gulls, and Red-necked Phalaropes, plus an uncountable view of an Asian Dowitcher at Al Ansab lagoons -- regrettably shut on weekends, of course. Our pelagic was a bit of a damp squib, noteworthy only for the phalaropes and some very close Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins. We bade farewell to the entertaining and very competent Justin here, and flew down to the brand new airport at Salalah, where the city has changed out of all recognition in an incredibly short time.
Our new guide, Gary, knew a site for Spotted Thick-knee, so this was our first port of call once we'd checked in to our ideally located Beach Villas. Then it was out to Ayn Sahalnoot, and the first Blackstarts, White-breasted White-eyes and Paradise-Flycatchers of the trip, whilst a couple of folks glimpsed a White-breasted Waterhen, a vagrant here. A try for Arabian Scops-Owl produced a heard-only record, with too much traffic for any to dare to approach the road, and the remnants of a dead (Arabian) Spotted Eagle-Owl as witness to the perils waiting if they did.
Ayn Hamran is always a big highlight, and this year was no exception, with great looks at Arabian Partridge, Bruce's Green-Pigeon, Arabian Warbler, Palestine and Shining sunbirds, and the elusive (Arabian) Golden-winged Grosbeak. Khor Rauri yielded Pheasant-tailed Jacana and Cotton Pygmy-Goose, and the spectacular sinkhole at Tawi Attair gave us Arabian Wheatear and Yemen Serin, as well as its resident Bonelli's Eagle.
The next day, given the bad views we had had of Hypocolius in Abu Dhabi, we went out to a site 80 km west of Thumrait towards the Empty Quarter, where the species has been overwintering. Sure enough, we got good views of several birds and this turned out to be one of the high points of the trip, with African Collared-Dove and Nile Valley Sunbird as bonus birds, and some interesting rock and black gravel desert habitat that we did not see again. There were some amazing triliths here, these being Iron Age stone structures of unknown purpose and origin, mentioned in several of the classic Arabian exploration works too, so it was very good to see them.
Sahnawt Farm was also very rewarding, with a huge flock of 420 Pacific Golden-Plovers, 32 Cream-colored Coursers, two Caspian Plovers, male Pallid and Montagu's harriers side by side, and a fantastic look at Steppe Gray Shrike.
Qitbit and Muntasar were a tad anticlimactic this year, with virtually no migrants in evidence, but we got great looks at Spotted Sandgrouse, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark and a Hume's Warbler as compensation, to make the trip worthwhile.
News of a wintering Forest Wagtail at East Khor Park (near our hotel) was encouraging, but in the end, we had to make three visits before we saw what proved to be a rather elusive bird on our last morning. The fact that our last visit coincided with the Friday holiday and hundreds of noisy subcontinental picnickers was not helpful, though Jim's finding of a Gray-headed Kingfisher was astonishing, and may represent the first January record for Oman. A Long-toed Stint at East Khor was another good bird, but, sadly, it looks as if the Khor Mughsayl Desert (Hume's) Owl may be a thing of the past.
A new site at Ayn Tobraq was very promising and gave us a Verreaux's Eagle and 4 Golden-winged Grosbeaks; this one is a definite keeper!
My thanks to Justin and Gary at Muscat Dive for their good company, driving, and general logistical assistance, with Gary's botanical knowledge proving a nice addition to the trip. We're hoping that we've set Gary off on the path to becoming a birder; he sure got some good Oman ticks to start him off! Sharon at FGI HQ did a great job setting it all up, and my thanks to Karen for help with the drastic flight rescheduling needed following the huge snowstorm that disrupted the east coast just as we were about to leave the Middle East. UAE guide Mark Smiles (who took me round pre-trip as well) was as excellent as ever, and gave us lots of valuable information. Particular thanks to a fun, good-humored and entertaining group, who coped with it all remarkably well; even the lack of beer in Dhofar was bearable, if not ideal! Safe travels and I look forward to meeting up with you all again at some point.
-- Phil, in Dubai and Kuranda
Jan 7-8. Flights from the US to Dubai.
Jan 9. Umm al Quwain/Khor al Beida, Masafi Wadi, Wamm Farm.
Jan 10. Mushrif Park. Arabian Park Polo Club, Bab al Shams and Flamingo Lake, Masafa pond then Yas Island Golf Links for 1700.
Jan 11. Wamm Farm, Hamrania Turf Farms, UAQ corniche.
Jan 12. Ras al Khor, Warsan lakes, Jimi Oasis, Jebel Hafeet.
Jan 13. Mercure area Jebel Hafeet, Zakher Lake, then to Buraimi and pm to Sewage ponds and desert nearby. Dull and rainy all day!
Jan 14. Hanging Gardens (Jebel Qatar) then drive to Nizwa.
Jan 15. Nizwa souk, Wadi Mudhain, Al Ansab and Qurum Beach.
Jan 16. Qurum Beach then pelagic trip 35 km off Mutrah; Al Ansab, Qurum Beach and Muscat souk late p.m.
Jan 17. Flight from Muscat to Salalah, then birding Al Baleed and Ayn Sahalnoot.
Jan 18. Ayn Hamran, Khor Rauri, Ras Mirbat, Wadi Hanna baobabs and Tawi Attair sinkhole.
Jan 19. Sahnawt Farm and East Khor, then Raysut harbor, Mughsayl Khor, and Wadi Mughsayl.
Jan 20. Thumrait, then Modhai date grove, back to Salalah late pm.
Jan 21. Pre-dawn to Ayn Hamran, then East Khor Park, Thumrait, Al Beed farm, and Qitbit.
Jan 22. Muntasar Oasis, Frankincense tree wadi, then East Khor Park and East Khor.
Jan 23. East Khor Park, Sahnawt Farm, Khor Rauri and Ayn Tobraq. Afternoon departure for Dubai and hopefully flights home (depending on the status of the snowstorm in the eastern USA).
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser albifrons)
Two Green Bee-eaters (subspecies muscatensis) catch some rays. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) [I]
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus)
GADWALL (Anas strepera)
EURASIAN WIGEON (Anas penelope)
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Anas clypeata)
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta)
GARGANEY (Anas querquedula)
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca)
COMMON POCHARD (Aythya ferina)
TUFTED DUCK (Aythya fuligula)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
SAND PARTRIDGE (Ammoperdix heyi)
CHUKAR (Alectoris chukar) [I]
ARABIAN PARTRIDGE (Alectoris melanocephala) [E]
GRAY FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pondicerianus) [I]
These Pin-tailed Sandgrouse were only part of a big group of 50 we found out in the desert at Bab al Shams. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
MASKED BOOBY (Sula dactylatra)
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
SOCOTRA CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
WESTERN REEF-HERON (Egretta gularis)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)
The gang checks out the Masafi Wadi, home to Sand Partridge, Scrub Warbler, Arabian Babbler, Black Redstart and more. Photo by participant John Keith.
INDIAN POND-HERON (Ardeola grayii)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
EGYPTIAN VULTURE (Neophron percnopterus)
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos)
SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus gallicus)
GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE (Clanga clanga)
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus)
STEPPE EAGLE (Aquila nipalensis)
IMPERIAL EAGLE (Aquila heliaca)
VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii)
BONELLI'S EAGLE (Aquila fasciata)
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus)
The elegant Slender-billed Gull was seen on many days of the tour. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
PALLID HARRIER (Circus macrourus)
MONTAGU'S HARRIER (Circus pygargus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
GRAY-HEADED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)
SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis dodsoni)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta)
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ostralegus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis apricaria)
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva)
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus)
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus)
The Desert Rose probably doesn't look like much when it isn't flowering! Photo by participant John Keith.
WHITE-TAILED LAPWING (Vanellus leucurus)
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus)
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii)
CASPIAN PLOVER (Charadrius asiaticus)
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus)
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (CURONICUS) (Charadrius dubius curonicus)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus)
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus)
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
Sooty Gulls were particularly common in Dhofar, with hundreds in the roost near our hotel. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa)
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris)
RUFF (Calidris pugnax)
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii)
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta)
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina)
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago)
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
The famous Muntasar oasis was a bit quiet for migrants this year, but still produced Spotted Sandgrouse, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, and a Hume's Warbler. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
Dromadidae (Crab Plover)
CRAB PLOVER (Dromas ardeola)
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
CREAM-COLORED COURSER (Cursorius cursor)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SLENDER-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus genei)
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
SOOTY GULL (Ichthyaetus hemprichii)
PALLAS'S GULL (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus)
CASPIAN GULL (Larus cachinnans)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (HEUGLIN'S) (Larus fuscus heuglini)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (STEPPE) (Larus fuscus barabensis)
BRIDLED TERN (Onychoprion anaethetus)
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
WHITE-CHEEKED TERN (Sterna repressa) [E]
A vagrant Forest Wagtail took us a bit of effort to find. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii velox)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis)
PIN-TAILED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles alchata) [I]
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles exustus)
SPOTTED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles senegallus)
LICHTENSTEIN'S SANDGROUSE (Pterocles lichtensteinii)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto)
AFRICAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia roseogrisea)
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis)
BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia)
ARABIAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus pamelae) [E*]
PALLID SCOPS-OWL (Otus brucei)
PHARAOH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo ascalaphus)
There's not much shade in those wadis, though the Acacia tortilis tree helps a little bit. Photo by participant John Keith.
LITTLE OWL (LILITH) (Athene noctua lilith) [E]
PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops)
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala semicaerulea)
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis)
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) [I]
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (BLACK-CROWNED) (Tchagra senegalus percivali)
The Shining Sunbird is the common sunbird in Dhofar. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
ISABELLINE SHRIKE (DAURIAN) (Lanius isabellinus isabellinus)
SOUTHERN GRAY SHRIKE (SOUTHERN) (Lanius meridionalis aucheri)
SOUTHERN GRAY SHRIKE (STEPPE) (Lanius meridionalis pallidirostris)
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis harterti)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
HOUSE CROW (Corvus splendens) [I]
BROWN-NECKED RAVEN (Corvus ruficollis)
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus)
SINGING BUSHLARK (Mirafra cantillans)
GREATER HOOPOE-LARK (Alaemon alaudipes)
BLACK-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix nigriceps)
DESERT LARK (Ammomanes deserti)
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella brachydactyla)
CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata)
SKY LARK (Alauda arvensis)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
ROCK MARTIN (PALE CRAG-MARTIN) (Ptyonoprogne fuligula obsoleta)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
RED-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer) [I]
WHITE-SPECTACLED BULBUL (Pycnonotus xanthopygos) [E]
WHITE-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus leucotis) [I]
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
SCRUB WARBLER (Scotocerca inquieta)
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (Phylloscopus collybita)
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (SIBERIAN) (Phylloscopus collybita tristis)
PLAIN LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus neglectus)
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei)
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
CLAMOROUS REED-WARBLER (BROWN) (Acrocephalus stentoreus brunnescens)
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GRACEFUL PRINIA (Prinia gracilis)
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
ASIAN DESERT WARBLER (Sylvia nana)
DESERT WHITETHROAT (Sylvia minula) [E]
The Arabian Wheatear is an uncommon species with a restricted range. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
ARABIAN WARBLER (Sylvia leucomelaena) [E]
MENETRIES'S WARBLER (Sylvia mystacea) [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
WHITE-BREASTED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops abyssinicus arabs)
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
ARABIAN BABBLER (Turdoides squamiceps) [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica)
BLACK REDSTART (EASTERN) (Phoenicurus ochruros semirufus)
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius)
WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)
EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola rubicola)
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (SIBERIAN) (Saxicola maurus maurus)
BLACKSTART (Cercomela melanura)
HOODED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe monacha)
HUME'S WHEATEAR (Oenanthe albonigra)
ARABIAN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe lugentoides lugentoides) [E]
VARIABLE WHEATEAR (Oenanthe picata)
RED-TAILED WHEATEAR (RED-TAILED) (Oenanthe xanthoprymna chrysopygia) [E]
Frankincense trees are quite widespread in the rocky valleys of Dhofar. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
DESERT WHEATEAR (Oenanthe deserti)
ISABELLINE WHEATEAR (Oenanthe isabellina)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
SONG THRUSH (Turdus philomelos)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris)
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]
BANK MYNA (Acridotheres ginginianus) [I]
TRISTRAM'S STARLING (Onychognathus tristramii) [E]
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
NILE VALLEY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna metallica)
PALESTINE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris osea) [E]
SHINING SUNBIRD (Cinnyris habessinicus)
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
FOREST WAGTAIL (Dendronanthus indicus)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla flava)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (FLAVISSIMA/LUTEA) (Motacilla flava lutea)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (BLUE-HEADED) (Motacilla flava flava)
Desert Wheatears were widespread throughout, particularly in Dhofar. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
CITRINE WAGTAIL (Motacilla citreola)
WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba)
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi)
LONG-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus similis)
TAWNY PIPIT (Anthus campestris)
TREE PIPIT (Anthus trivialis)
WATER PIPIT (Anthus spinoletta)
HYPOCOLIUS (Hypocolius ampelinus) [E]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
STRIOLATED BUNTING (Emberiza striolata striolata)
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi)
CORN BUNTING (Emberiza calandra)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YEMEN SERIN (Serinus menachensis) [E]
GOLDEN-WINGED GROSBEAK (ARABIAN) (Rhynchostruthus socotranus percivali) [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus hufufae)
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RUEPPELL'S WEAVER (Ploceus galbula)
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
INDIAN SILVERBILL (Euodice malabarica)
The Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak is elusive and hard to find -- but not this year! Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
AFRICAN SILVERBILL (Euodice cantans)
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) [I]
INDIAN PALM SQUIRREL (Funambulus palmarum)
INDO-PACIFIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops aduncus)
ARABIAN ORYX (Oryx leucoryx) [I]
GOITERED GAZELLE (Gazella subgutturosa)
MOUNTAIN GAZELLE (Gazella gazella)
TAHR SP. (Hemitragus jayakari) [E]
Hottentotta jayakari was the scorpion Justin showed us at Wamm Farm, named for a doctor in the Indian Medical Service in Victorian times.
Butterflies were very sparse, a Painted Lady was seen in Dhofar and Plain Tiger was widespread.
Desert rose Adenium tuberosum was seen in bloom near Taiq Cave, and frankincense trees were quite widespread in rocky valleys in Dhofar, whilst Baobabs were seen at Wadi Hanna.
Birds of the trip were varied but Hypocolius not surprisingly came out in front, with Sand Partridge, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Forest Wagtail and Gray-headed Kingfisher also featuring in a diverse selection. I was especially pleased with Arabian Tahr and Sand Gazelle
Totals for the tour: 211 bird taxa and 6 mammal taxa