Robert Tovey

Robert Tovey

Dr Rob Tovey is a scientist by training and more recently an English teacher. His profession allows him to travel to some of the more difficult-to-get-to places and stay there for years if his inclination takes him. He is a keen bird watcher, blogger and amateur photographer. He has worked in Azerbaijan and Libya and is currently in Saudi Arabia. Rob also has a base in Bulgaria so overall is becoming a bit of birding specialist in very general terms where East meets West.

Nov 142015
Teetering on the brink

As Saeed Shanfari and I finished at Dowkah farm so fresh on Monday we pressed on to Qatbeet before turning round. Qatbeet was so far from the coast, it was the only place which was not affected by cyclone chapala at all. It was it’s usual very hot self. Winter coolness arrives later in the […]

Nov 122015
Dowkah in early November

Monday was the day of maximum impact of cyclone Chapala in southern Arabia. It’s main effect missed western Oman and struck central Yemen instead.Nevertheless it had some effect on Saeed Shanfari’s and my birding when we went out into the desert north of the Dhofar mountains. Having set off at 4.30 am we arrived at […]

Nov 102015
Abdim's stork are back

During mid week a week ago, I managed to snatch some time to visit Raysut settling pools in the late afternoon. The good news is that about 45 Abdim’s stork had arrived. It is only in very recent years that they have chosen to winter in Salalah and it looks like that will continue this […]

Nov 072015
Much more at Rakhyut

There was much more to Rakhyut than owling (see yesterday’s blog). On the mountain top before we (Saeed Shanfari, Hedi Khecharem and I) descended into Rakhyut the action started. There were four eagles. Three were steppe eagle which soon disappeared.   Eastern imperial eagle 1 One eagle stayed behind and give good views. It was […]

Nov 012015
Around the Marriott

Last Thursday afternoon, visiting Norwegian birder, Ellen Askum and I made it out to the area around the Marriott hotel, Mirbat. A few kilometres east down the coast is Ras Janjari which is one of the best places to seawatch from the mainland. After visiting there we explored the area close to the hotel where […]

Oct 242015
Three Cuckoos In One Tree

I spent much of Saturday morning at Wadi Darbet. It is still very green and attracting many birds indeed more so than from November onwards when the ground dries out under the trees. I was looking mostly for any passage birds. I found quite a few.     adult male common cuckoo Remarkably in one […]

Oct 222015
Out East Again

I have been out to some of the sites east of the city quite regularly over the last week and have sometimes ended up at Khawr Rori if I have had time. In the springs (ayns) I have been looking for any rare passerine migrants and at Khawr Khawr for little crake. Unfortunately I have […]

Oct 152015
Tour of the east side

As well as visiting local farms on Friday, I toured some sites east of the city starting at Ayn Hamran. The stop at Ayn Hamran was relatively short but it is never uninteresting. Though there were no wintering birds seen yet apart from a couple of common sandpiper and a grey wagtail. It’s always a […]

Oct 112015

Last Thursday was the only day during Eid when I had no long distance travelling. I stayed in the Buraimi area on the border with UAE. I visited two sites there: Buraimi sewage plant and Jebel Qatar. Both are conveniently on the same road to Mahdah and barely five kilometres apart. The sewage plant is […]

Oct 082015
Early morning at Ghaftayn

On Wednesday morning, I got up early at Ghaftayn rest house to see what passage there had been over-night. These desert stops have highly variable windfalls of migrants during the passage seasons. One morning can be heaving while another can have virtually nothing. The same goes for the rarity of the birds. This was only […]

Oct 052015
Dowkah delivers again

My Eid trip lasted from Tuesday afternoon until Saturday evening. It involved 3500 kilometres of travel and took me to several birding locations. This and the next four blogs will chronicle the results.I headed north out of Salalah on Tuesday and reached one of my favourite birding locations, Dowkah desert farm, with time to bird […]

Oct 012015
Eagles and water birds at Raysut

I managed a second late afternoon out birding during the week on Wednesday. I chose Raysut settling pools. This is much more interesting that this time last year as the habitat is better. Last autumn all the water was retained within concrete bound pools. For the past few months the ones on the far east […]

Sep 272015
Collared pratincole twitched at Raysut

I finally saw collared pratincole in Oman yesterday. It became bird number 295 on my Oman list. Thanks are due to Jens Eriksen for tipping me off that four were at Raysut settling pools. It wasn’t easy as I was at work at the time the message came through. I left work at the close […]