Our 12-day Oman Birding tour takes you to one of the most exciting birding destinations to add to your birding travel list!
One of the main attractions will be to see the recently discovered Omani Owl, a poorly known bird inhabiting the mountains and cliffs at the background of Muscat.
Other top birds to find include the scarce White-tailed Lapwing in Al Ansab Lagoons, the endemic kalbaensis race of Collared Kingfisher, a highly endangered race , the Yemen Serin one of the most scarce birds in the region and the very scarce Desert Owl.
Tour starts and ends in Muscat
Tour duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Next group departure date: 25 January 2024
This birding tour can be booked as a private small group tour.
Itinerary – Day tot day Summary:
We will fly in to Muscat for our first evening and welcome meal. If guests choose to use the inflight option, we will assemble at Barcelona International Airport. You can also fly to Oman on your own flight in chich instance a shuttle will pick up you from the airport and transfer you to our accommodation in the city.
Our first official day of birding starts with a morning in Al Qurm Park as well as other natural sites in the city. Birds to see include birds Marsh Sandpiper, Clamourous Reed Warbler, Indian Roller, Red-tailed Shrike, Purple Sunbird, Indian Pond Heron, Indian Silverbill, Greater Crested & Lesser Crested Terns, Palla’s Gull, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Red-vented Bulbul and Grey Francolin.
We will spend the afternoon in the massive mountains and cliffs at the background of Muscat. Here we will look for Hume’s & Persian Wheatears, Plain Leaf Warbler, Striolated Bunting as well as Egyptian & Lappet-faced Vulture. Here is also a place to look for the Palestine Rock Pigeon, a real wild race of the urban Feral Pigeon.
The main attraction of the area will be to find the recently discovered Omani Owl, a poorly known bird inhabiting these mountains.
Today we start our birding in Al Ansab Lagoons, one of the best locations to see the scarce White-tailed Lapwing. Other species to see here include a good variety of wildfowl including Greater Flamingoes, Ruff and Western Reed Egret.
We will drive west to explore different areas with good chances for Namaqua Dove, Hume’s Whitethroat, Isabelline Wheatear and Arabian Babbler. In the afternoon we will explore the mangroves near Al Liwa, where we will look for the endemic Kalbaensis race of Collared Kingfisher, a highly endangered race and a potential split.
We will enjoy an early morning birding outing in Muscat before driving South towards the highlands of the Al Hajar mountains. We will spend quality time in this area exploring for Lappet-faced Vulture, Eversmann’s Redstart, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Hume’s & Variable Wheatears and Streaked Scrub Robin. The slopes provide awesome views of the impressive geology of the mountains. On our way to our accommodation in Duqm we will stop explore a sea mudflat, to see a good variety of waders.
From Duqm, we will explore the coastline where massive intermareal flatlands host a wonderful variety of waders. Here we will look for Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers but also Broad-billed Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Great Knot and the wonderful Crab Plovers. The area is famous for hosting about 1 million waders in winter! Along with them we may enjoy other birds including Sooty, Steppe, Slender-billed, Heuglin’s & Caspian Gulls and White-cheeked & Caspian Tern. On our way we will have the first chance to spot desert birds like Desert Wheatear, Southern Grey Shrike (aucheri), Brown-necked Raven or Black-crowned Sparrow Lark.
Today we will drive south from Duqm to Salalah. During the morning we will explore areas looking for more desert birds including Greater Hoopoe Lark, Cream-coloured Courser, Desert Wheatear, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and Asian Desert Warbler. We will spend the afternoon in a forested valley close to Salalah.
Here we will have our first contact with the wonderful Dhoffar Massif. The area, carpeted with deciduous trees, is home for a number of target birds. We will look for Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Abyssinian White-eye, African Paradise Flycatcher, Blackstart, African Silverbill, Palestine & Shining Sunbirds and Arabian Warbler. Verreaux’s or Golden Eagles are both possible as well as Black-crowned Tchagra, Arabian Partridge and Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak!
Today we will explore birding in the Raysut area. This area is famous due to the huge amount of raptors that overwinter here. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of Steppe Eagles that mainly feed in the rubbish dump providing wonderful views as they keep moving around the area in small flocks of tens of birds. We will also look for Greater Spotted Eagles and Eastern Imperial Eagles, also present but in smaller numbers. The area is also hosting an overwintering population of Abdim’s Stork, and Black-eared Kites is also a possibility. A number of lagoons provide excellent birding opportunities close to the city. Here, a massive number of species can be expected including good chances for Citrine Wagtail, Rüppell’s Weaver, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Temminck’s Stint, Intermediate Egret, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Indian Pond Heron, White-winged Black Tern, Terek’s Sandpiper, Saunder’s Tern, Western Osprey and Pacific Golden Plover. If we are lucky, we may find scarcer species here including Yellow Bittern, African Sacred Ibis or one of the few Long-toed Stint, White-breasted Waterhen or Pin-tailed Snipes.
Today we’re heading up to Dhoffar Massif. Here we will spend the morning looking for Yemen Serin, one of the most scarce birds in the region. The landscape around this area is also great for seeing Singing Bush Lark, Long-billed Pipit, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Tristam’s Starting but also Arabian & Hooded Wheatears. Raptors are a common sight here and we may see Montagu’s Harrier, Short-toed Snake Eagle but also Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Eastern Imperial Eagle or Bonelli’s Eagle flying around! Later in the morning we will explore some cliffs hosting Verreaux’s Eagle and Tristam’s Starling and enjoy the wonderful view over the Salalah Plain! Late in the afternoon we will enjoy some urban birding in Salalah where we hope to see Indian Pond Heron, Citrine Wagtail and Isabelline Wheatear but also Spotted Thick-knee and Bruce’s Green Pigeon!
We are off for an early morning offshore trip just outside Salalah. During the trip we expect some good views of really interesting species including the endemic Socrota’s Cormorant, Jouain’s Petrel and Persian Shearwater. Masked Booby, Red-billed Thropicbird and Red-necked Phalarope are all possible here!
The offshore are provides great chance to see Green Sea Turtles and groups of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins at close range. In the afternoon we will drive north to explore the rocky escarpments looking for the very scarce Desert Owl. Other interesting birds to see here are Arabian Wheatear or Striolated Bunting.
We will have an early morning start today to drive to the desert to explore a number of oases. There we will look for the iconic Grey Hypocolius along with other really interesting birds including Chestnut-bellied & Spotted Sandgrouses, Nile Valley Sunbird, African Collared Dove and Blackstart. Grey Hypocolius is an overwintering visitor to the area with small numbers visiting Oman. During the day we will also explore a number of fern farms in the desert, likely to attract a good variety of birds in winter but, since crops tend to be abandoned after a few years, these locations tend to be highly variable. Species such as Pied Wheatear or Tawny Pipit are likely. Tonight we embark on a nocturnal trip to look for Arabian Scops Owl close to Salalah.
Morning birding around Salalah where we will spend some time in the formerly excellent fern farms. In the past, they used to attract Demoiselle Cranes and Sociable Plovers along with other goodies. Today, they seem less attractive to those species. Still, Singing Bush Larks and Yellow-billed Kites are possible here. We will also explore nearby areas looking for Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak. Grey-headed Kingfisher and Namaqua Dove.
A midday flight will transfer us from Salalah back to Musqat. Upon arrival we will check into our accommodation and enjoy afternoon birding in the city followed by dinner to end our fantastic tour.
Morning transfers to the airport to start the way back home for all tour participants.
Get in touch with one of our team members for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org