05/29/07

South Africa (ZA)   Migration thinning out  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:06:16 am

Week 21, 18 May 07 - SAANR, Tuhla

Brian Foster and I were out in SAANR, in less than ideal conditions due to a persistent dust storm over Kuwait for a couple of days. We had hoped that this would ground the migratory birds, but it turned out that birds were thin on the ground and we believe migrations is pretty much over. Excuse the yellow cast on these images, caused by the filtering of the sun through the dust. Images by Mike Pope

This Little Stint in breeding plumage was the only wader at the Tuhla Pool

Little Stint

A juvenile Red backed Shrike with very striking markings

Red backed Shrike

One of the last Whitethroats passing through

Whitethroat

Of interest, the original Tuhla tree that has been preserved for posperity

Tuhla Tree

The wadi that runs through the natural reserve and a good location for raptors and owls

Wadi

05/13/07

South Africa (ZA)   Migrants and Mammals  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:50:10 pm

Week 20, 11 May 07 - Al Abraq and Tuhla

Brian Foster and Pekka Fagel were out in the western desert and natural reserve over the weekend. Images by Pekka Fagel

Out at Al Abraq a Golden Oriole was found skulking in a tree

Golden Oriole

A Booted Eagle with 6 'fingers' and 'landing lights' came soaring overhead

Booted Eagle

There were a few waders around the pool, including this Little Stint

Little Stint

A Ringed Plover was also seen at the pool

Ringed Plover

This European Nightjar was flushed whilst walking around the pool

Nightjar

A lone European Roller taking refuge from the heat

Roller

Pekka and Brian stayed past sunset in the reserve and were rewarded with a Long eared Hedgehog, which is rarely seen

Long eared Hedgehog

Another very rarely seen small mammmal is this Lesser Jerboa

Lesser Jerboa

05/10/07

South Africa (ZA)   Wildlife around Jahra  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 06:00:20 pm

Week 19, 04 May 07 - Jahra Farm and Jahra East Outfall

Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel, Graham Whitehead, Andrew Shaw and I left Tuhla and headed for Jahra Farm and Jahra East Outfall for high tide. Images by Mike Pope

A quick stop at Jahra Farm gave us the resident Bank Myna's, a mega for our visiting Western Palearctic listers

Bank Myna

A dragonfly at the irrigation pond

Dragonfly

This Blackcap was foraging in the palm fronds

Blackcap

We were troubled by this bird and now believe it to be an eastern race (hafizi or africana) of Nightingale whose main features are: distinctly paler sandy grey tones above and white below with a pale supercilium.

Nightingale

On route to Jahra East, Pekka picked out this Blue throated Lizard on a berm

Blue throated Lizard

Yellow Wagtails were in abundance at Jahra East in the samphire beds. This white headed race (leucocephala) Yellow Wagtail, not quite in breeding plumage, was a first for most of us and is probably the least seen of all the races passing through Kuwait

Yellow Wagtail

South Africa (ZA)   Back to SAANR  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:53:33 pm

Week 19, 04 May 07 - Tuhla

Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel, Graham Whitehead, Andrew Shaw and I were out at Tuhla in the natural reserve. The bulk of the migration seems to have passed through, but there are still good birds around. Images by Mike Pope

On arrival we had both European and Blue cheeked Bee-eaters whose calls are so distinctive when they are high overhead

European Bee-eater

A Blue cheeked Bee-eater passing overhead

Blue cheeked Bee-eater

Pallid Swift were amongst the Bee-eaters overhead, this one looks well fed

Pallid Swift

A lone Squacco Heron was inadvertently flushed from the main pool

Squacco Heron

This time, we only found a female Rufous tailed Rock Thrush

Rufous tailed Rock Thrush

This adult Wrynek has been left vulnerable with the loss of its tail feathers

Wryneck

Again, the Thrush Nightingale was found in the same shrub at the pools

Thrush Nightingale

A Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler share the same perch

Spotted Fly and Garden Warbler

Warblers were still well represented, I isolated the Garden Warbler from the previous image

Garden Warbler

An Upchers Warbler that had gleened its way up through this small tree

Upchers Warbler

Barred Warblers are still common at Tuhla

Barred Warbler

A Whitethroat feeding in the same patch as the Barred Warbler

Whitethroat

05/03/07

South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 06:23:50 pm

Week 18, 1 May 07 - Tuhla

Pekka Fagel managed to spend some quiet time for some quality images at Tuhla in SAANR Images by Pekka Fagel

With patience a great image of a Thrush Nightingale

Thrush Nightingale

There are still many warblers passing through, this is a Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Basra Reed Warblers have also made an appearance, the pink lower mandible and primary projections are very obvious in the this image

Basra Reed Warbler

A magnificent Lesser Grey Shrike that is one of the culprits for spiked lizards

Lesser Grey Shrike

A Turtle Dove, which has an air of distinction and is under threat as a species due to uncurtailed hunting and habitat destruction in breeding areas

Turtle Dove

South Africa (ZA)   Migration continues  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 06:04:11 pm

Week 17, 26 Apr 06 - Tuhla, SAANR and Jahra East Outfall

Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel and I decided to make the 26th April a Big Birding Day for Kuwait, the previous record was 104 species in a day. Weather conditions were favourable today as was migration. We are pleased to announce that a new record of 118 has been posted. Images by Mike Pope

Photography was secondary to listing today, but I still managed to get off some bursts to capture a few birds seen. This Collared Dove seems surprised that I froze it in mid-air

Collared Dove

There are still Lesser Kestrels around, hunting from the pylons running through the park

Female Lesser Kestrel

A male Rufous tailed rock Thrush was my first for Kuwait

Rufous tailed Rock Thrush

Spotted Flycatchers are now moving through

Spotted Flycatcher

This Lizard did not stand much chance with the large number of Shrikes passing through

Spiked Lizard

A fallen branch from a tree provided ideal cover for some of the more skulking species, I was lucky to catch this Thrush Nightingale before it disappeared into cover. In fact we had Nightingale and Thrush Nightingale in the same view

Thrush Nightingale

The Whitethroats have now replaced the Lesser Whitethroats as they move north

Whitethroat

A Short toed Eagle surveying its domain, although the alarm calls of the Little Owls made it known that it had been seen

Short toed Eagle

Even in flight, the yellow eyes of the Short toed Eagle are distinctive

Short toed Eagle

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