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Oman Day 9 Sociable Plovers and Cream-colored Coursers

4th February 2023

18 Sociable Plover showed off a tht very close thanks to the work manager for driving me around the Farm or I would never have got this opponunty to observe this endangered species

You can’t go wrong when you see both Sociable Plover and Cream-colored Courser in one day and at very close range as well! A few days ago, the two Swedish birders had 26 Sociable Plover at Sahnawt Farm, viewed distantly from the fence next to the RT-49 road. So mid-morning, I was just about to set up and start peering into the fields from the fence when a pickup pulled up. He asked me what I was doin? When I told him, he told me to get in with my camera. Boy, I’m in the shite now, I thought. We drove past the checkpoint and into the farm. He turned of onto a dirt track and to the left I could see a flooded area covered in waders. He saw me looking and asked, you want to take picture? Sure thing. It turned out that he was the work manager and he was taking me on a tour of the farm. I jumped out immediately, as I could see a summer plumage Whiskered Tern but it was the Ruff. Over 250 of them feeding with 25 Wood Sandpiper, 30 Temmink’s and 60 Little Stint, Citrine Wagtail all over the shop and a mix of different flarva wagtail. We moved on and around as we turned a ‘STOP!!’ I demanded. There standing on the track that we were on, directly in front of us, were 18 Sociable Plover!! Wow! I really wasn’t expecting that as I thought they would be in the middle of one of the very many large fields. He lit a cigarette, I suffered from the fumes inside while at the same time, taking it in what was only a few meters away from me. After the fag was thrown out the window, I could see he was gettin tired and I told him to drive on. He asked if that is what I was after? It sure was and with a big smile on my face, we returned to my car. He gave me his number and said anytime you want to come in then let me know. I made my mind up that I’ll be back in a few days.

The first Sociable Plover that I saw, was on Scilly and it performed well, followed by 4 distant birds in Kuwait. Don’t think I’ll get the oppuntunty to observe Socaible Plover at very close range again like I did today

Out of the 100s of Whiskered Tern I’ve seen so far in Salalah, this is the only individual in summer plumage. Early 90s, Cemlyn, Anglesea, is also the only other S/P job that I’ve observed.

Never seen so many Ruff

Possible Black-headed Wagtail

Possible Grey-headed Wagtail

Those Swedish guys also let me know that had 9 Cream-colored Courser fly over the RT-49 just east of the Ayn Hanram roundabout on the same day they had the plovers. I’ve driven in that area and other places hunting for the coursers since the first day I arrived in Salalah. I thought I’ll give it ago and after I covered the plains just before the roundabout from the west, I drove east from the roundabout keep my lookout to my right all the time. My sharp eyes spotted one, close to the road and I came off and drove towards it back on the plains. In total, there were 18 Cream-colored Courser! Wow! I parked up and waited for them to come to me. That they did and just like the plovers, they showed off superbly at very close range. They don’t mess around and are always on the move. That is until a passing raptor and then crouch as low as they can to the ground before popping on and in as few seconds, they’ve covered a mile. I really didn’t care if I didn’t see anythin else today. However, nearby, I took a quick look at Salalah Marina and there was a very obliging Great black-headed Gull sitting on the wall. He was so close, I couldn’t focus with the camera and he even walked towards me before flying off! The only downside was that it was a 1st winter instead of a S/P adult.

Up to 18 Cream-colored Courser was an awesome sight and the only other sighting of this species was on Scilly that became ill and died in my hands

This Great black-headed Gull allowed me to almost touch it as it just sat on the wall.

The Governments attack on our ambulance workers is a disgrace – there is no low it won’t sink to

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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