You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!

Muscat, Oman January 2013

OK, finally downloaded some of the photos I took during my stay in Muscat, Oman at end of January.

This one is specially for Stand. It was taken at the Corniche Matrah harbour in Muscat.

This is a macro view of where the photo of the cat was taken. Amazing number of gulls around as well as egrets, all kinds of birds. And of course crows. For some reason there were only gulls in this specific spot.

I did an enormous hike that day, for several hours. This photo was taken up the corniche road from the harbour. Just to show how absolutely clear the water was on that day. It was a spectacular sunshine day. One of my most enjoyable hikes in Muscat to date.

A feature of Muscat's scenic roads are overhead structures, with interesting through ways such as the one below on both sides of it. I'm sure there must be some symbolism to it, not sure what it is.

The ruler of Oman, HM Sheikh Qaboos's palace in Matrah. He doesn't live in it though. He has two palaces in Muscat, and then a few others in other areas of Oman.

Just to give an idea of the typical community areas in Muscat. This was quite a distance from the harbour, but very close to the beach.

Just to show the mountains in the background. Some great mountains in Oman, every where. Nice change from where I live in the UAE where there are almost none to be found. Flat every where.

This road sign is just around the corner from the hotel I'm staying at when I'm in Muscat. I'm still amused when I see it.

19 blog comments below

Rather interesting topography there, as well as architecture.
That dar bird in the water shot, is it some sort of gull or tern, or something else?
Ankhanu on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:49 am
Thanks Ankhanu. Here is another photo of the same bird. I'm sure it is a gull as well.

deanhills on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:11 am
Wow those are really great pictures. That cat didn't look too amused to see you or that fact it was getting its picture taken. That structure with the through ways was interest and very clean! I didn't see any dirt on that floor so I can only conclude that there is someone hiding in one of the ways with a broom.
TheGremlyn on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:01 pm
True. That cat couldn't have been impressed that I discovered its hiding place. Particularly when it was stalking the gulls. Very Happy

The reason it is clean is that no one can get there. Regrettably when one gets closer to the harbour corniche - sea wall - there is quite a lot of litter. The city is doing its best to clean it regularly however. Particularly when the tide is out. I see gangs of labourers cleaning those areas. The areas I photographed were at a good distance from there. The photo I took was beyond those big boulders. I took it with my Canon's zoom. I tell you these pocket Canons with 5X optical zoom and 16 MegaPixels are awesome.
deanhills on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:14 pm
Cool, thanks; looks to be a sooty gull, Ichthyaetus hemprichii.
Ankhanu on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:59 pm
Oh goodie. Nice to know what it is thanks Ankhanu. Cool
deanhills on Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:56 pm
No problem Smile
It piqued my curiosity for two reasons; it's a dark sea bird near the shore, and it took me a couple seconds looking at it to discern what parts were what... you gave me a puzzle Razz
Ankhanu on Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:58 pm
Just been looking it up as well. Got the most info at this URL - just for the record for any one who may be curious:
deanhills on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:03 am
Gonna play a little bit because it's a topic I enjoy, but, you might notice a difference between what I said it was and what's on the page you linked to... might Wink
There are two different taxonomic names on offer Razz I said it was in the genus Ichthyaetus and the link uses Larus. Gulls have, by and large, presented taxonomists with some fair challenges in their classification, and determination of what makes a species, and their classification structure changes from time to time as the data is reviewed and new data is collected (morphological, behavioural, and genetic). Larus is the default genus of the whole family, the genus for which the family is named, and most gulls were lumped within it, but, as the biology of gulls is better understood, we're able to separate them out; some species are found to be less closely related to others, some distinct species are found to actually be the same, etc. The separation of Ichthyaetus from Larus is a result of our ongoing efforts to understand how things are related Smile
A very long way of saying that the Larus designation of the sooty gull is no longer accepted and that it's recognized as a synonym of the current Ichthyaetus classification Razz

Here's a quick glance over of some of the difficulty present in classification of the Larus superspecies complex that may be of interest... or not Wink
Ankhanu on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:19 am
It is definitely of interest, thanks Ankhanu. Those gulls sure confuse me, thanks for explaining how it works. There are a great variety of gulls in Oman, and I've taken a number of photos of them, particularly went totally photo crazy on the one day when there were also different birds hanging together. Think what I should do too, is start a thread on it in the hobby Sub-Forum and then ask you what their taxonomic names are, if you're game for it.
deanhills on Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:43 am
Game but pretty useless ;P
Chances are there were actually only a couple species, but each one has about 3-4 different plumage forms as they go from juvenile to adult... and the adults are also likely pretty similar. I have a hard time with the gulls here, let alone the species I've never actually seen Wink
Ankhanu on Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:50 am
OK. I'll make a challenging for myself too and look them up as much as I can. I've got a number of them, and will start with this one. It was taken at the same time as the above photos in the Muscat Corniche/Harbour Port Area. At first I thought it was Heron, but it is actually an Egret. Do you agree with the identification and the taxonomic name?

Western Reef Egret (Egretta gularis)
deanhills on Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:16 pm
OFF-TOPIC/but not really...
Taxonomic revisions have become a norm (at least during the last 2 decades); they occur whenever molecular phylogenetic studies (which goal is to establish phylogenetic trees) tend to show that a given taxonomic group is not monophyletic... It also shows the fact that "Phylogenetic Systematics" is now mainstream.. but must be said that its acceptance was never immediate nor general...

In the specific case of Larids, It was one that was published in Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 37(3):686-699; 2005 : "Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers"...
fouadCh on Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:54 pm
Um... taxonomic revision has been the norm since we began classifying organisms... not just the past two decades. We just have better tools to determine relationships than we have in the past.

Dean - egret and heron are somewhat interchangeable. They're not really assigned by taxonomic classification, and there are examples of both herons and egrets within and between genera... the designation is a little arbitrary. For example, the great egret is Ardea alba and the great blue heron is Ardea herodias... but a little blue heron is Egretta caerulea and a snowy egret is Egretta thula... no real rhyme or reason to the common name designation Smile

But, yeah, that looks like a western reef heron Smile
Ankhanu on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:45 pm
Fantastic as always, Dean. What is the purpose of those overhead structures - just a place to get out of the sun? That cat would be an excellent playmate for Grem's Mynx.
standready on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:30 pm
@Stand. I don't have the foggiest. Nice treat for pedestrians however.

Thanks Ankhanu. Particularly for tying Heron and Egret up for me.
deanhills on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:15 pm
OK, another attempt at bird identification:

These crows are in great abundance in Muscat. Everywhere. And VERY cute. They're slightly different to the ones I've known in both South Africa and Vancouver, Canada as they have a grey collar of sorts whereas the ones I've known have always been black.

Anyway, the crows were in the harbour port in with the gulls, and what was fascinating was that as long as they had food in their beaks, the gulls would let them be. May chase them, but won't touch it. But as soon as a crow landed, they would consider whatever morsel was on the ground as fair game and descend on the morsel en masse. The photos were all taken at the same site. Although the bottom two were not near the water. On the ground near to the Fish Market. Any idea what gulls they would be?

House Crow (Corvus splendens)

deanhills on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:24 pm
That while car looks great with sunroof and everything. Smile
dude_xyx on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:05 pm
I thought sotoo xyx. Great car! Rarely that one finds really old model cars here in the Middle East. Oman has probably one of the greatest death from car accidents rates in the world. Their driving is particularly high-risk. They do have an active campaign ongoing however to make people more aware of driving safely.
deanhills on Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:35 am

© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.