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 tree there were three cuckoos.
adult male common cuckoo 2
Two were passage common cuckoo and one was a Dideric cuckoo which is a summer breeder in Dhofar.
adult male common cuckoo
The first one I noticed was an adult male.
resting common cuckoo
The second one is a second calendar year bird which still retained some juvenile plumage.
second calendar year common cuckoo
I understand there is nowhere of telling whether this bird is male or female.
second year common cuckoo 2
Both birds are remarkably tame especially if you walk towards them extremely slowly. I withdraw from one barely 3 metres way. Ironically it only flushed when I walked away.
second year common cuckoo 3
To be honest I didn’t know that common cuckoo don’t mature until they are two years old until this sighting and my investigation into it.
second year common cuckoo 4
The Dideric cuckoo was not so tame. It moved out into a dip next to the tree very quickly.
This tree didn’t look very special except it is one of the largest in the wadi, with only one immediate neighbouring tree and also close to the water.
Most of my time at the wadi was taken under the more heavily wooded area on the west side. Here is is well shaded.Several passage nightingale were present.
Some tree pipit have arrived. A few stayed all winter there last year.
As is typical in most of the Salalah area in autumn, the most common passage warbler by far is common whitethroat.
western reef heron with a grey heron
The water levels in all water bodies in Dhofar are much lower this year than last. There were no signs of ducks here yet.
water at Wadi Darbet
As well as the migrants, the resident birds were out in force obviously including Ruppell’s weaver. By co-incidence, representatives of three of the local birds got much closer to me than usual. This allowed me to shot sharp pictures with my average camera.
Arguably the nosiest bird in the woods, one was a cinnamon-breasted bunting.
African paradise flycatcher
African flycatcher has lost their breeding plumage now but are still attractive.
The final local bird was a blackstart. Actually its not so unusual for them to get close but it was welcome nevertheless.