Masafi Wadi is a great wadi-system on your way to Dibba on the East Coast.
Directions and access:
You have two choices on where to park;
The classic Hotspot is named Masafi Wadi--general area in eBird.
- Park at 25.342395 , 56.172115 and walk 270 meters straight north across the broken gravel plain. Then spend the next few hours exploring the various wadis that spreads out northwards the next 800 meters. Walk slowly, stop and scan. Listen for any birds present.
A new eBird Hotspot is a bit further north, and named Masafi Wadi--Dibba 30km track
- Park at 25.361265 , 56.163183 and work your way southward.
It has been quite productive the last few years.
See map below.
Update 28 Dec 2019: A new road is underconstruction here now, threatening to destroy this site.
Early morning, from just before sunrise is the best time to be here, especially May to October when it's hot. Alternatively the last two hours before sunset. Walk all the wadis here (a wadi is a dry streambed or riverbed). Walk some of the wadis several times, stop and listen for extended periods.
Variable Wheatear have recently found wintering here, in the more open areas with flat rocky ground.
Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Little Owl, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Hume's Whetear and Long-billed Pipit are resident here, wheareas Plain Leaf Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri), Red-tailed Wheatear and Variable Whetear are winter visitors.
101 species (excluding escapes) have been recorded as of June 2019.
This is one of the best spots in the country for Scrub Warbler, esp. around 25.351025 , 56.170517, but can be found anywhere.
Other sought-after species here includes Plain Leaf Warbler from the last week of October to the end of March.
Also Persian Whetear regular in winter and lately, Variable Wheatear recorded. Can be good for Long-billed Pipit.
Rarities have included:
Bay-backed Shrike nested here in June 2010 (first breeding record in Arabia).
Blue-and-white Flycatcher was recorded in February 1999, and Eversmann's Redstart has been recorded a few times.
Masafi Wadi, January 2019 - © Fouad Itani
Scrub Warbler - © Fouad Itani