Huwaylat Road  - return to East Coast

Huwaylat Road is part covered, part gravel road that runs through the deep mountains right along the Oman border fence from Hatta to Khor Kalba.
Since November 2011 new red signs on the border fence stating: 'No Entry' with pictures of a car and a camera means driving along the fence is no longer permitted. This might not be true for the plains away from the fence though.

Directions and access:
From the Hatta Fort Hotel roundabout:
Hatta Fort Hotel is a 5-star hotel with great food and refreshments. Alcohol is served here. 1 km after the Hatta Fort Hotel roundabout, a tarmac road exits to the left (north). Follow this until you reach Huwaylat village and the roundabout there (24.885140 , 56.170069. Take the right exit (not the exit signposted to Ra's al-Khaimah) and follow it until you arrive at a military border crossing into Oman. A roundabout-like junction is found here, you will exit it to the north (24.876845 , 56.277532), immediately passing a big white-painted H (Heli-pad) and a small lake 100 meters further. The lake might be worth checking, if possible (I have not yet been here to check it out, Jan 2020).

Continue 2.73 km on the paved road to 24.892419 , 56.291185. Exit to the right here (4-wheel drive vehicles only), and continue in the dry wadi to 24.889796 , 56.298864. From here, AWAY from the border fence, explore the various paths to the well at 24.899002 , 56.324158. Namaqua Dove and Trumpeter Finch can be regularly seen here. Park your car AWAY from the border fence, and explore on foot, staying away from the fence.

Be aware of military patrolling the fence road, and driving your car along the fence is not allowed. We have had instances of birders being escorted to the headquarter for lenghty questioning.

Birding strategy:
WARNING: parking your car in proximity of the border fence is prohibited.
When stopping to bird, park off the main gravel road along one of the many tracks going off. Avoid carrying telescopes and cameras, as you are in a border area with military patrols. Birders have been asked to leave the area.
Stop if possible at two wells at position 24.899002 , 56.324158 to check for birds coming in to drink. Yellow-throated Sparrows are common here from late March to end September. Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse come in to drink at the largest well just after sunset. Sit quietly west of the well and wait for the shy birds to appear. Namaqua Doves have been regular here, as have July-records of Oriental Turtle Dove (2006 & 2007). European Turtle Dove might breed here. Trumpeter Finch reported.

Birds:
Sand Partridge (early morning best), Namaqua Dove (surprisingly regular), Little Owl (late afternoon along the fence), European Roller (thought to breed west of the wells), Desert Lark (common), Arabian Babbler (fairly common), Hume's Wheatear (fairly common), Scrub Warbler (rare), Striolated Bunting (common). In winter you can also find Black Redstart (Eastern), Persian Wheatear, Variable Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat, Plain Leaf Warbler. Raptors can include Lappet-faced Vulture (rare), Short-toed Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Booted Eagle and Steppe Eagle (rare). During migration anything can turn up.

Rarities have included Oriental Turtle Dove summer 2006 and summer 2007.

Dairy Farm entrance

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