oman

THE FRIENDLY ARAB COUNTRY

Dates

Oct 25th to Nov 3rd / dates can move depending on flights)

Tour Cost

Aprox.€ 3.870.-to be confimed at the time of booking

Single room supplement

€250.-

Group size

12 persons with three leaders

Tour leader

Josele J Saiz , Dani Cazo and Dick Forsman

Airport

UK-Doha-Salalaht -UK

What´s included

English speaking bird guide troughout the journey. All meals and all local transport. . Entrance fees to protected areas. All overnights on a twin/double shared basis:

What´s not included

Beverages.  International tickets. Insurance.


Tour code

Accomodation: We will stay at a centrally placed four star hotel throughout the tour.Food: All types of food (western, Arabic and Indian) are available throughout the country. The food is usually of excellent quality and value and is perfectly safe. The restaurants at our hotel are licensed to serve alcohol. Ground Transport: Self-driven in 3 4 x 4 Landcruisers or similar.

Selected species list

Arabian Partridge,Jouanin’s Petrel, Persian Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Socotra cormorant, Lesser Sandplover, Greater Sandplove, Sociable Plover, Little Pratincole,Saunder’s Tern,White-cheeked Tern
Bridled tern,Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Rufous Turtle Dove, Arabian Scops Owl, Desert Owl, Arabian Eagle Owl
Grey Hypocolius, Singing Bush-lark, Arabian Warbler, Arabian Wheatear, Shining Sunbird, Nile Valley Sunbird, Long-billed Pipit, Yemen Serin, Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak

More information

Introduction

Your main bird leader is Dick Forsman, accompanied by Josele J Saiz and Dani Cazo, a freelance ornithologist, who lives in Helsinki in his native Finland. He is the foremost authority on the raptors of the Palearctic region and is thus well qualified to guide us through the complexities of the identification of the many raptor species that frequent Oman during the winter months. His search for raptors often takes him abroad with his favourite destinations being Spain and the Middle East with Oman in particular. He is the author of the seminal The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East and has led many bird tours to the region.

Oman is one of the most developed and stable countries in the Arab world and has longstanding ties with Britain. Oman is the easternmost country of the Arabian Peninsula and is ideally situated for getting a mix of African, Oriental and Palaearctic birds, with large numbers of seabirds also occurring. In total, nearly 450 species have been recorded. It covers 212,500 square km and has 2.5 million inhabitants, half of which are expatriates. The country opened up in 1970 when the current Sultan - Qaboos ibn Said took over and it has developed tremendously since then. The infrastructure is excellent with good roads and the scenery fantastic. The people are very friendly and relaxed and the country is absolutely hassle-free and clean. Oman also encompasses the peninsula known as the Musandam, bordering the important Straits of Hormuz and separated from the major part of the country by the UAE. There are also some small Omani enclaves in the eastern UAE. Travel to Musandam is possible via domestic flights, four-wheel drive car (slightly more complicated as it requires visas through UAE) or boat.

Habitats range from the steep fjords of mountainous Musandam in the north, through deserts and vast shores with stands of mangroves, and extensive tidal mudflats and islands (Masirah being the largest) in the east to the afro-tropical forests and brackish khors (lagoons) of the southern Dhofar province. The main part of the country has a dry, desert-type climate with high humidity near the coasts in summer while the monsoon affects Dhofar during July-September when the province receives considerable rainfall; a prerequisite for the lush vegetation on the mountain slopes there.

There are several good birding sites. In addition to which more generally, the spectacular Dhofar province in the south-west is particularly interesting, with monsoon influences greatly affecting some of this region’s flora and fauna.. Sea-watching from the coast, or by chartered boat, can be very productive after the monsoon with Bridled Tern, skuas, Jouanin's Petrel (anywhere off the coast); Audubon's, Pale-footed and sometimes Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Red-necked Phalaropes in large numbers.
The coastal khors are a haven for water birds and migrants, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Long-toed Stint being more or less regular, with migrant Herons, Little Bitterns, Pintail Snipes, Baillon's Crakes and some years Pale Rock Sparrows. Yellow Bittern apparently has its sole breeding area in Aarabia here. The sight of hundreds of sandgrouse gathering to drink at an oasis, stunning coastal scenery, the liberating sense of endless space the desert gives you, not to mention an interesting mix of both African and Indian-influenced bird species ...

 

Itinerary

Day 1-Arrive to Salalah via Doha. Overnight in our four star hotel

Day 2 to Day 9 The entire tour will work from Salalah, the capitol of what is known as the Dhofar region of southern Oman, where we shall spend all nights. Dhofar has a predominantly verdant African fauna that contrasts with the mainly Asian avifauna of the north. From our base in Salalah we shall bird the Salalah farms, several of the well-known coastal khawrs, including Khawr Rawri, and inland localities like Ayn Hamran, Tawi Atayr and Wadi Darbat, and coastal areas at Ras Mirbat and Al Mughsayl. We shall also visit the local rubbish dump and the sewage treatment plant, which both are particularly good for birds. Weather permitting we will spend some time offshore on a boat trip to look for pelagic species, and one day we spend exploring the desert well inland from Salalah.
Especially the fresh water coastal khawrs hold a great variety of waders, egrets and wildfowl, often including some rarities, while some of the region’s more special birds are found at specific sites near the coastal mountain range. The local rubbish dump is the wintering spot for hundreds of Aquila-eagles, mostly Steppe, but also tens of Greater Spotteds and Eastern Imperials, while the nearby water treatment plant is a good site for waders and smaller birds.  Gulls and terns are around in their hundreds, even thousands, anywhere along the coast.
For more details on birding sites and birds, please have a look at the splendid Birdwatching Guide to Oman by Hanne & Jens Eriksen and Panadda & Dave Sargeant. This publication is essential reading for anyone contemplating this tour.This will be a comprehensive birding tour of the southern Dhofar region of the  Sultanate of Oman at one of the best times of year for resident, wintering and late migrant birds. All days we will Overnight in the same 4 star Hotel

Day 10.-Transfer to the airport for our flight back home via Doha

We will  visit all the important birding sites around Salalah, but in which  order this happens depends on the birds, the weather and our needs. If  we give you a strict day-to-day program,we need to follow it and we loose flexibility in order to repeat sites if we need it. 

 

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