OMAN BIRDING ADVENTURE

Oman must be one of the most exciting destinations we can travel to right now. Combining a whole bunch of Middle East endemics and specialities along with an ecletic mix of Asian and African species too! Beginning in the scenicly splendid Sayq Plateau we will search several different wadis for the recently-described Omani Owl. These northern areas are also good for Sand Partridge, Lappet-faced Vulture,  Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Pallid Scops Owl, Red-tailed and Variable Wheatears, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Plain Leaf Warbler and  Long-billed Pipit. Moving on to the wader extravaganza at Barr Al Hickman and it's thousands upon thousands of shorebirds including the most-wanted Crab Plover, we will eventually head inland deep into the 'Empty Quarter' or Rub al Khali, and reach Qatbit. The deserts could provide Cream-coloured Courser, Bar-tailed and the nomadic Dunn's Lark. There are several places we could see good numbers of Chestnut-bellied, Spotted and Crowned Sandgrouse as well before reaching the desert oasis of Qatbit. Here we hope to see Hypocolius amongst some great migrants and anything can turn up here from shrikes and flycatchers, to Bluethroat, Asian Desert Warbler, Wryneck and Menetries's Warbler. Moving on to Thumrayt we will be looking for Sand Partridge, African Collared Dove, Hooded Wheatear and Nile Valley Sunbird, before heading to Salalah for a 5 night stay. What an area we will find ourselves in and there's plenty to find and our first evening here will be spent searching for Arabian Scops Owl and Arabian Eagle Owl. Amongst a long list of target species we also hope to see Arabian Partridge, Desert Owl, Blackstart, Arabian Wheatear, Forbes-Watson’s Swifts, Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak and Yemen Serin. A pelagic from Mirbat could well be the highlight of our time here with Masked Booby, Socotra Cormorant, Jouanin's Petrel, Persian Shearwater, Saunders's and Bridled Terns and Sooty Gull amongst others. There's also an amazing variety of European, African and Oriental species present here to mess with our minds with species such as White and Abdim's Storks,Yellow Bittern, Little, Spotted and Baillon's Crakes, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Namaqua Dove, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Singing Bushlark, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Turkestan Shrike, Abyssinian White-eye and so much more. Oman is bound to leave you amazed by its avian riches, great hotels, good roads and superb food. So why not?

Monday 29th Nov - Sunday 12th Dec 2021
                                                and
Friday 4th Feb - Thursday 17th February 2022

KEY SPECIES

Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Jouanin's Petrel
  • Persian Shearwater
  • Socotra Cormorant
  • Masked Booby
  • Sand Partridge
  • Arabian Partridge
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Crab Plover
  • Cream-coloured Courser
  • Spotted Sandgrouse
  • Crowned Sandgrouse
  • Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse
  • Sooty Gull
  • Saunders’s Tern
  • White-cheeked Tern
  • Arabian Eagle Owl
  • Omani Owl
  • Desert Owl
  • Pallid Scops Owl
  • Arabian Scops Owl
  • Grey Hypocolius
  • Forbes-Watson’s Swift
  • Arabian Babbler
  • Asian Dunn's Lark
  • Hume's Wheatear
  • Arabian Wheatear
  • Persian (Red-tailed)  Wheatear
  • Streaked Scrub Warbler
  • Asian Desert Warbler
  • Ménétries’s Warbler
  • Arabian Warbler
  • Plain Leaf Warbler
  • Nile Valley Sunbird        
  • Yemen Serin
  • Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak
Arabian Partridge

Leader:  Nick Bray.

Ground Price:  £2850.00 - Muscat/Salalah

Single supplement: £400.00

Deposit: £0.00

Group size: Maximum of 5 with 1 guide in 4x4 and 9 with 2 guides in two 4x4's.

Included in cost: Accommodations based on two persons sharing a two-bedded room. We select good hotels convenient to our birding destinations, but at times the only convenient accommodations may be rather simple. All transportation in 4x4's, pelagic out of Mirbat, bottled water, and services of guides
.
Not included: Insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature.

Hotels: The motels and hotels we will use are all of a medium to good quality and within easy reach of the areas we wish to bird. All of them have air-conditioning, hot showers & comfortable beds, and probably the most basic will be at Qitbit, but it is the only option!

Tour Code: A reasonably relaxed birding break for all levels of ability and fitness. The exception to this will be our attempts to see Omani Owl, which will require several hours on at least a couple of nights. Leisurely walking, very occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement on most days. We may well walk for a few kilometres through some arid wadis, but a lot of our  birding will be done near or close to the vehicles. Expect it to be hot during the day and much colder, especially in the mountains, at night. 

Covid 19:  To join this tour you will need to be doubly vaccinated. You will need to present a certificate with QR code confirming a negative PCR test result and upload this along with your Covid-19 vaccination certificate  onto the eMushrif website prior to departure. An E-visa is required before travel and costs OMN 20 (approx £17.00).

Social distancing  in a birding group is rather impossible, so our policy for this particular tour will be to conduct it in the usual social setting. We would advise you to wear masks when coming into contact with anyone outside of our bubble - although we envisage this scenario will be kept to a minimum. Each one of us needs to adopt a safety-first mentality throughout our time together and whilst travelling to/from Muscat. We understand masks are not everyone's favourite thing but for the foreseeable future they are going to be part of every birders kit, so please wear them if it make syou feel more comfortable. Saying that, most of our time will be spent in the outdoors and we deem a birding tour to be much safer than more 'normal' holidays! The vehicle we use every day will also be sterilized every day and hand gel will be made available to all.

All costs arising from any Covid-19-related issues are NOT included in the Zoothera Birding tour fee, and the individual tour participant is responsible for all of these payments. These include, but are not restricted to, payment for Covid treatment/medical fees on tour, transport and accommodation in case of quarantine, and the costs of any Covid tests needed for the tour, either before, during, or after the tour. Zoothera Birding will facilitate all arrangements in terms of ensuring that participants are safe and given rapid access to the best locally available medical treatment, but costs are to be borne solely by the tour participant. If anyone in the group shows some of the common symptons of Covid, they will need to obtain a PCR test locally and will have to isolate from the rest of the group - at their own expense.

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