03/31/07

English (US)   Kuwait bird trip report March 19th – 31st, 2007  -  Categories: Trip Reports  -  @ 05:10:38 pm

Kuwait bird trip report March 19th – 31st, 2007

Compiled by Sven Karlsson

sven.karlsson@geo.su.se

to view full report click HERE

INTRODUCTION

The first Swedish bird watching group visited Kuwait in March 2007. The visit was preceded by a number of emails to George Gregory, an Englishman living in Kuwait since 15 years. George, working at the Voluntary Work Centre with bird monitoring and bird protection was our guide for most of the 11 days we spent in the country. He is also the author of “The Birds of the State of Kuwait” (2005), a most useful guide and checklist with descriptions of birding sites and highest counts of each more or less regular species in each month. Site names and site numbers in the text below refer to this book (cf. Fig. 3). Beside this book, little is written about birds and birding in Kuwait. Only two proper trip reports were found on internet, made by a Danish group (Hagerman 2006) and a Finnish group (Lindroos et al. 2006). We also found an annual bird report for 2005 (Foster (ed.) 2006). Birding in Kuwait makes it interesting due to its location at the southeast corner of Western Palearctic, especially for bird watchers counting WP-species. A problem with bird watching in Kuwait is that to most of the sites, access is by permit only, why a local guide is most important. The trip was made a little bit earlier than the possibly best spring migration time, with the aim to also find some winter visitors. The trip turned out to be very successful. In total, the group found 195 species. The participants in the group were: Jan-Michael Breider, Christer Brostam, Bosse Carlsson, Per Forsberg, Seppo Haavisto, Sven Karlsson, Staffan Rodebrand and Johan Sandström

03/27/07

South Africa (ZA)   Birds around the Reeds at Jahra  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:45:49 pm

Week 11, 17 Mar 07 - Jahra East

From Sulaibikhat Reserve I headed out to Jahra East Outfall. The following images by Mike Pope

While trying to track down a Spotted Crake, a Graceful Prinia called from the top of the reeds

Graceful Prinia

A magnificent Squacco Heron landed at one of the small pools

Squacco Heron

The Squacco Heron in flight

Squacco Heron

I have missed the White tailed Plover on a few occassions, but discovered this one quietly standing on the bank

White tailed Plover

Leaving Jahra East a second White tailed Plover flew overhead, to join the first I had seen earlier

White tailed Plover

South Africa (ZA)   Birds at Sulaibikhat  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:36:40 pm

Week 11, 17 Mar 07 - Sulaibikhat

After dropping my son at school, I popped out to Sulaibikhat Reserve, north of Kuwait City. The following images by Mike Pope

Birds were very skittish today, so I spent some time in the hide next to the small pool where I captured this Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

A Bluethroat presented itself at the edge of the pool

Bluethroat

An obliging Southern Grey Shrike had just regurgitated the remnants of its last meal, which I never realised that they do

Southern Grey Shrike

Wheatears were abundant just outside the reserve where I found this male Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

There was a group of 4 Isabelline Wheatears near the outfall

Isabelline Wheatear

03/26/07

South Africa (ZA)   Buffeted Birds of SAANR  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:54:46 pm

Week 11, 16 Mar 07 - SAANR

Pekka Fage, Brian Foster and Mike Pope explored more of SAANR on the way to and around Tuhla today in very blustery conditions. The following images by Mike Pope

Caspian Plovers were still around from the previous week and for me in breeding plumage were like seeing a new bird

Caspian Plover

Part of the large flock of Caspian Plovers

Caspian Plovers

A small flock of Collared Pratincoles took shelter near the Caspian Plovers

Collared Pratincole

This Kestrel used the strong wind to his advantage whilst hunting

Common Kestrel

I flushed this Tree Pipit walking around the Tuhla pool and it took some patience to get this image of it bobbing up and down in the wind

Tree Pipit

The Black eared Wheatear was still present in the same location as last week

Black eared Wheatear

South Africa (ZA)   The Wading Pool  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:39:59 pm

Week 11, 16 Mar 07 - SAANR

Pekka Fage, Brian Foster and Mike Pope were out at Tuhla pool in SAANR today in very blustery conditions. Waders in small numbers had arrived and presented photo opportunities whilst trying to keep out of the wind The following images by Mike Pope

The Barn Swallows were taking advantage of the wind and using it to assist them in dipping into the pool for a quick bathe, I caught these two as they rose off the surface

Barn Swallow

This Black winged Stilt was foraging for gnats in the long grass together with the Wagtails, before it returned to the pool

Black winged Stilt

A Green Sandpiper was skulking under the bank trying to stay out of the wind

Green Sandpiper

We thought this Little Stint was coming into breeding plumage initially, only on closer inspection did we see that is was oiled

Little Stint

The Marsh Sandpiper didnt seem phased by the wind and had a quick rinse

Marsh Sandpiper

A lone Ruff added some stature to the group of smaller waders

Ruff

A embarressed looking Squacco Heron with its 'hair' out of place

Squacco Heron

03/25/07

South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 06:28:52 pm

Week 11, 16 Mar 07 - SAANR

Pekka Fage, Brian Foster and Mike Pope were out at the Rubbish Tip and Subriya Farm today in blustery conditions. The following images by Mike Pope

The Collared Pratincoles had all but dispersed from the rubbish tip, I found this individual keeping a low profile out of the wind

Collared Pratincole

A stop a Subriya Farm gave me this lucky 'grab shot' as this Long legged Buzzard passed by overhead

Long legged Buzzard

I had heard Blue cheeked bee-eaters overhead earlier in the week, this individual seemed to prefer hawking insects closer to the ground

Blue cheeked bee-eater

South Africa (ZA)   Yellow Wagtails Galore  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 05:59:47 pm

Week 11, 16 Mar 07 - SAANR

Pekka Fage, Brian Foster and Mike Pope were out in the natural reserve (SAANR) today in blustery conditions. The following images by Mike Pope

A variety of different sub-species of Yellow Wagtail were frequenting the pool at Tuhla, all catching and consuming small gnats in and around the tall grass

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

03/18/07

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:25:04 am

Week 11, 15 Mar 07 - SAANR

Pekka Fage, Brian Foster and George Gregory were out in the natural reserve (SAANR) today in ideal conditions. The following images by Pekka Fagel

The Black eared Wheatears were abundant, in fact the 40 seen today represents the highest daily count for Kuwait

Black eared Wheatear

Black eared Wheatear

Black eared Wheatear

This unusual Wheatear shows characteristics of being a hybrid between Pied and Black eared

Hybrid Pied and Black eared

Hybrid Pied and Black eared Wheatear

Hybrid Pied and Black eared

Hybrid Pied and Black eared Wheatear

Hybrid Pied and Black eared

03/11/07

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:56:01 am

Week 10, 10 Mar 07 - Salmiya and Salwa

I was out today watching my son at his school sports day at TES in Salmiya (just off 4th Ring Road) and got distracted by the Swifts overhead in between events. The following images by Mike Pope

Pallid Swifts are really challenging subjects to try and photograph

Pallid Swift

Another Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift

The Black headed Gulls in breeding plumage, were out in force along the beachfront near Salwa

Black headed Gull

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:49:33 am

Week 10, 09 Mar 07 - Al Abraq

Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel, Mike Newey and I went out to the western desert and the oasis at Al Abraq today to check on the the spring migration. The following images by Mike Pope

The most common birds today were Chiffchaff and they were all over the farm

Chiffchaff

A Blue Rock Thrush relaxing on a chair

Blue Rock Thrush

An adult and juvenile Squacco Heron flew by and uncharacteristicly landed on the top of a tall tree

Squacco Heron

I was fortunate enough to come across a Cinereous Bunting, but kids on a quad flushed it before I could alert the others

Cinererous Bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Even the Painted Ladies are looking good at this time of year

Painted Lady

03/08/07

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 05:41:48 pm

Week 10, 07 Mar 07 - Sabah al Salem and 6th Ring Rubbish Tip

Pekka was out earlier this week and had the good fortune to capture some new birds for this spring. The following images by Pekka Fagel

A Pallid Swift over Sabah al Salem

Pallid Swift

Collared Pratincoles around the rubbish tip off the 6th Ring Road

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Pekka was fortunate to find a small group of Pale Rock Sparrows near Sabah al Salem

Pale Rock Sparrow

Pale Rock Sparrow

Pale Rock Sparrow

03/04/07

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:29:23 pm

Week 9, 03 Mar 07 - Sabah al Ahmad Natural Reserve

I decided to head for SAANR following the success of Brian, Pekka and Mike yesterday. I had no luck with Caspian and White tailed Plovers, but still had some good migratory birds and also enjoyed the colour in the reserve. The following images by Mike Pope

A show of yellow on the way to Tuhla

A yellow carpet

The Iris's are showing well and in various parts of the reserve, they cover large areas in a purple/blue carpet

Flowering Iris

The Wagtails were well represented again in larger numbers than the previous week

White Wagtail

This Grey Wagtail really was obliging, almost posing for the photograph

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

The number of Hoopoe's had also increased from the previous week

Hoopoe

A Little ringed Plover was foraging along the banks of the pool at Tuhla

Little ringed Plover

A single Northern Wheatear was an unexpected suprise

 Nothern Wheatear

A single Corn Bunting seemed to be enjoying the fresh greenery

 Corn Bunting

I surprised this courting Crested Lark, who seemed to glare at me for interupting his display

 Crested Lark

South Africa (ZA)   Birds of Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:02:47 pm

Week 9, 2 Mar 07 - Sabah al Ahmad Natural Reserve

Following a dust storm the day before; Pekka Fagel, Brian Foster and Mike Newey were out in SAANR and were rewarded with some two great birds, amongst the others seen. The following images by Pekka Fagel

This female Pallid Harrier was caught in flight as it sailed low over the desert

Female Pallid Harrier

A large flock of Caspian Plovers in breeding plumage were a rare treat, these birds were obviously grounded by the wind and dust storm from the previous day

Caspian Plover

Caspian Plover

Caspian Plover

A White tailed Plover was seen at Tuhla, but was too far to photograph. This image is the same species, but was taken by Pekka Fagel at Jahra East last year

White tailed Plover

Brian Foster got in close to this Iris which are displaying well in many areas of the desert

Iris

Dominon Beetles are now quite abundant, Brian Foster captured this one that remainded still for a moment

Domino Beetle

South Africa (ZA)   Kuwait Rarities  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:48:24 pm

2007 - Rarities

The following rarities have been seen this year

A single Dark throated Thrush was photographed by Pekka Fagel on 26 January 2007 on Falaika Island during a visit with the two Finnish birding groups

Dark throated Thrush

A Richards Pipit was amongst the Tawny Pipits at Sulaibikhat Nature Reserve in early January and photograhed by Gary Brown

Richards Pipit

A single Rook and the 3rd record which was last seen 43 years ago was seen at Shuwaikh Port. Photograph by Mike Pope on 5 January 2007

Rook

A Black winged Kite was photographed by Bader al Attar at Jahra East on the first day of 2007

Black winged Kite

South Africa (ZA)   Kuwait Rarities  -  Categories: Rarities  -  @ 09:35:40 pm

2006 - Rarities

A great year for rarities that were photographed

A male and female Eversmanns Redstart were seen and photographed at Sabriya Farm on 22 and 23 December 2006 by George Gregory and were the 6th record for Kuwait

Eversmanns Redstart

One female/immature Ferruginous Duck at the Sabah al Salem pools was seen by Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel, George Gregory and Mike Pope from 14 to 24 December 2006 was at least the 3rd record for Kuwait. Photograph by Pekka Fagel

Ferruginous Duck

A single Forest Wagtail was discovered at Al Abraq by Mike Pope, Brian Foster and Pekka Fagel. This exciting discovery represented a first Kuwait and the Western Palearctic. Photograph by Mike Pope in November 2006

Forest Wagtail

A second record of a moulting Long tailed Shrike was found at Sulaibikhat Nature Reserve by Brian Foster and Mike Pope. This bird has remained in the reserve over the winter and was still present in February 2007. Photograph by Mike Pope in November 2006

Long tailed Shrike

A first record for Kuwait, this bird was initially considered to be a Scops Owl. The photograph was re-examined after the discovery of a possible Pale Scops Owl at Green Island during January 2007 and then positively identified as Pale Scops Owl. Photograph by Mike Pope in October 2006

Pale Scops Owl

The 5th record of a Black Stork was a single bird seen and photographed by Hussain Al Qallaf at Sulaibikhat Nature Reserve on 29 September 2006

Black Stork

The 5th record of a group of 3 Common Babblers were photographed at SAANR on 3 August 2006 by Khalid al Nasrallah

Common Babbler

A second year Golden Eagle and 6th record for Kuwait was photographed in SAANR on 25 May 2006 by Misha'l al Jeriwi

Golden Eagel

The 2nd record and first live Black scrub Robin for Kuwait was photographed by Abdulrahman Alsirhan at Tuhla in SAANR on 29 April 2006 and remained until 6 May 2006 and was successfully twitched by Gary Brown, Brian Foster and most Kuwaiti Birders

Black scrub Robin

A first winter Little Gull and the 4th record for Kuwait was present on 23 February 2006 at Jahra East Outfall and photographed by Brian Foster

Little Gull

South Africa (ZA)   Kuwait Rarities  -  Categories: Rarities  -  @ 08:59:47 pm

2005 - Rarities

A few more rarities were photographed this year

Grey necked Bunting a first record for Kuwait (and a hat-trick of first for the photographer) was found drinking at Tuhla in SAANR on 14 September 2005. It was not immediately identfied, although the photographer Abdulrahman al Sirhan suspected that it was this species. The ID was confirmed by Paul Dernjatin, the writer of the Alula 2/2006 publication

Grey necked Bunting

Black Tern a first confirmed record for Kuwait was a single adult in breeding plumage seen and photographed by Abdulrahman al Sirhan on 11 June 2005

Black Tern

Arctic Tern a first record for Kuwait, was this bird seen and photographed at Jahra East Outfall, by Abdulrahman al Sirhan on 22 May 2005

Arctic Tern

A single female Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse was found and identified by Pekka Fagel and Brian Foster at Sabah al Salem following a minor sandstorm the previous night is the 2nd record for Kuwait. Photograph by Pekka Fagel on 04 March 2005

Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse

South Africa (ZA)   Kuwait Rarities  -  Categories: Rarities  -  @ 08:36:45 pm

2004 - Rarities

Only 1 photographed record of a rarity for this year

Not an official rarity, but a great photograph of a mega bird for Kuwait, by Khalid al Nasrallah on 12 April 2004

Houbara (Macqueens) Bustard

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