Oman – November 2022
This was my fourth visit to Oman, and every bit as good as all the others. The birding in Oman is just brilliant, the people are friendly, and you always feel safe. It is very difficult to do Oman justice in two weeks, but we gave it our best shot!
Very hard to single any place or bird out, but Barr Al Hikman is just amazing, and you have to see Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak, it is simply mythical. The experience of Verreaux’s Eagle at Jabal Samhan is hard to convey, just an amazing bird at an amazing location.
This two-week trip to Oman was organised for Ian Beggs and Steve Woolfenden, friends who I met through our mutual links to Skokholm Island off the Pembrokeshire coast. The basic aim was to take in as wide a range of species in Oman as reasonably possible in two weeks, including Salalah in the far south.
We opted to drive from north to south and back again so that we could enjoy the desert and the coast at Barr Al Hikman / Masirah rather than fly between Muscat and Salalah. As Sooty Falcon was one of the agreed key targets, we went slightly earlier than most birders go (mid-November), to increase our chances of catching the final birds before they left for the winter. This proved to be a good decision.
Ian and Steve were brilliant company and helped make the trip run very smoothly by being relaxed, accommodating, communicating their needs clearly and, above all, great fun!
Oman is an amazing destination for a birding trip, and is a very welcoming and safe country. You will not be disappointed with a birdwatching trip there.
A comprehensive report from the 2022 trip can be found on the Cloudbirders website: https://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport
You can also view a bird list from this trip, with photographs, on eBird here: https://ebird.org/tripreport/81694
In 2023 I will be leading a trip to Oman with my friend Chris Townend of Wise Birding Holidays, you can find out more about this trip on the web-site here: https://www.wisebirding.co.uk/oman-crab-plover-hypocolius-seabirds-migrants/