03/30/08

South Africa (ZA)   West to Al Abraq  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:48:03 am

Week 13, 29 March 2008 - Al Abraq

By Saturday the weather had improved and Pekka decided to try Al Abraq, which as we know has the potential for good birds. Images by Pekka Fagel


Al Abraq delivered on this visit with the 6th record of Rock Martin

Rock Martin

Red throated Pipits in breeding plumage have now arrived

Red throated Pipit

South Africa (ZA)   Duststorm at JEO  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:42:13 am

Week 13, 28 March 2008 - Jahra East Outfall

The weather deterioated on Friday and the dust storm resultued in a raptor fallout at Jahra East. Images by Pekka Fagel


Raptors head for the ground and sit out the spring dust storms. These are two Steppe Eagles waiting for the wind and dust to subside

Steppe Eagle

Pekka noticed a much bigger bird dwarfing the Steppe Eagles and this turned out to be a Black Vulture, an excellent record

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

03/27/08

South Africa (ZA)   A morning at the Pivot Fields  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 07:48:50 am

Week 13, 25 and 26 March 2008 - Jahra East Outfall and Pivot Fields

Pekka had the opportunity to visit Jahra East Outfall and the Pivot Fields with the visiting Finnish Birders. Images by Pekka Fagel


Patience and good light is needed in the SE corner of the reeds at Jahra East Outfall to capture the migrating Crakes. This is a great image of Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

Water Rail was seen in the same location

Water Rail

He was rewareded with a small flock of Caspian Plovers in full breeding regalia

Caspian Plover

A fantastic image of a Collared Pratincole cooling off in an irrigation ditch

Collared Pratincole

This large brown Eagle, has not yet been positively identified

Eagle

Eagle

03/24/08

South Africa (ZA)   Gulls at Sharq Harbour  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:26:27 am

Week 12, 22 March 2008 - JEO, Sharq Harbour

Whilst my family did some shopping in Sharq mall, I checked out the Gulls in the harbour. Images by Mike Pope


The Black headed Gulls are now all in breeding plumage and should be departing from Kuwait in the next couple of weeks

Black headed Gull

Black headed Gull

I didnt find any Slender billed Gulls in breeding plumage

Slender billed Gull

These two gulls dropped their fish during an in-flight squabble

Fish fight

There were numerous larger gulls present of various ages, which Abdulrahman has confirmed are adult and 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls (ssp heuglini)

Gull

Gull

Gull

Gull

Yellow Wagtails have arrived in numbers, this good looking bird is ssp Beema

Yellow Wagtail

03/23/08

South Africa (ZA)   Visiting Birders  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:17:43 am

Week 12, 21 and 22 March 2008 - JEO, Abdably, SAANR and Al Abraq

We have 3 visiting groups in Kuwait at present. This weekend, Pekka and Rick Saval were out with the Finnish group made up of Jouko Lunden, Rauli Lumio & Jukka Nurmi. Images by Pekka Fagel


Their patience at Jahra East Outfall was rewared with an obliging Baillon's Crake

Baillons Crake

Baillons Crake

Babblers and Red wattled Lapwing were found at Abdaly, as well as a bonus in the form of Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

The Nightjar may have been disturbed by the birders, but Pekka was fortunate enough to photograph the Nightar walking along the ground, with eyes wide open looking for a roosting spot

Egyptian Nightjar

Pale Rock Sparrows have been seen at a few sites in the past few weeks and now also in SAANR

Pale Rock Sparrows

A morning out at Al Abraq in the west produced some Warblers, Buntings, Semi collared Flycatchers and a Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

Blue cheeked Bee-eaters are presently being seen and heard at most sites

Blue cheeked Bee-eater

03/18/08

South Africa (ZA)   A hazy spring day  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 08:04:56 am

Week 11, 15 March 2008 - SAANR and Jahra Farm

I was out today with Brian Foster and we had Rick Saval join us with his nephew Kevin from the US. The dry winter is going to result in a hot dusty summer and today was one of those days in terms of haze. Images by Mike Pope


We headed straight to SAANR and searched the Wadi for Red tailed Wheatear for one of the visiting Austrian groups, which we found

Searching for Wheatear

We have had a very poor show of spring flowers due to lack of rain in the winter. The iris's have come and gone and these are the only other flowers still on show, here and there

Flowers

Flowers

This is a parasitic plant called the Broomrape that feeds off salt bushes

Broomrape

On route to Tuhla we came across a very dark Steppe Eagle and then later a few pale phase birds

Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle

At Tuhla the birds were pretty much the same as last weekend, with a few additions. We had two Black eared Wheatears around the pool today

Black eared Wheatear

Black eared Wheatear

Corn Buntings were still present

Corn Bunting

As were Hoopoes

Hoopoe

Shrikes were represented by Isabbelline

Isabelline Shrike

and Woodchat

Masked Shrike

A different variant of Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Two Black Redstarts has now made an appearance, this is ssp gibraltarensis

Black Redstart

The second ssp phoenicuroides was really obliging and got so close I had to step back to focus

Black Redstart

My favourite Common Redstart ssp samamisicus showed well again today

Common Redstart

Two new spring birds for us were, Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

and Menetries Warbler foraging on the ground

Menetries Warbler

We then headed to Jahra Farm to check for the late Indian Roller Pekka found on 1 March, without luck. This is the ever friendly Ali who runs the farm

Ali

Overhead we had Pallid Swifts, Sand Martins, Barn Swallows and a few Red rumped Swallows

Red rumped Swallow

03/10/08

South Africa (ZA)   Spring is in the air  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 08:07:43 am

Week 10, 08 March 2008 - Sabah al Salem, Jahra East and SAANR

Whilst Pekka enjoys a birding holiday in Goa, Brian Foster and I were out to check on the progress of the Spring migration and were pleasantly surprised. The north west winds have persisted over the past few weeks but this does not appear to have hindered the returning birds, who rely on wind assistance, that much. Images by Mike Pope

We noted that Sabah al Salem had some surface water, but this was only frequented by a small group of Black winged Stilts

Black winged Stilts

Next stop was Jahra East where some good birds have been seen the past few weeks. I saw Moustached Warbler and Spotted Crake and we heard Cetti's Warbler, but were not able to photograph them. I did however get onto this Pied Kingfisher who has been at JEO for the past week or so. Sadly the shooters were also there and I saw one individuals shoot up to 20 Wagtails!

Pied Kingfisher

A single Grey Wagtail was present

Grey Wagtail

The returning Yellow Wagtails now outnumber the White Wagtails that are leaving. This bird appears to have survived being shot, with just one leg

Yellow Wagtail

Hoopoes have been seen in various localities within Kuwait, this one has a backdrop of a spent shotgun cartridge

Hoopoe

A few Stonechats slowly coming into breeding plumage were seen along the reedbeds

Stonechat

We then headed to SAANR and drove the long way through the reserve to Tuhla. On route we saw this magnificent Steppe Eagle, presumably a 2nd calendar year bird

Steppe Eagle

The Voluntary Work Center had a photographic outing to Tuhla, but surprisingly the birds were really accommodating with the number of photographers walking around. In the pool, I photographed this Redshank

Redshank

Together with a lone Black winged Stilt

Black winged Stilt

And a Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

A few Yellow Wagtails were seen around the edges of the pool, which now has much higher banks than last year

Yellow Wagtail

Wheatears were well represented and we had Pied, Northern, Isabelline, Desert and Black cheeked in the surrounds. This Pied is almost in full breeding plumage

Pied Wheatear

An inquisitive male Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

A single Tree Pipit was foraging in the shade

Tree Pipit

A Isabelline Shrike in full breeding plumage - very striking. Dani Gelbert, an Israeli birder suggests that this is a Turkestan Shrike Lanius (isabellinus) phoenicuroides. Very rare in Israel, in contrast to the much more common Daurian shrike.

Isabelline Shrike

This Woodchat Shrike made a quick appearance

Woodchat Shrike

There were numerous Stonechats in the surrounding scrub, including this female bird

Stonechat

Common Redstart ssp samamisicus, is really a striking bird

Redstart

The Blue cheeked Bee eaters made an appearance as the day started to warm up

Blue cheeked Bee eater

03/03/08

South Africa (ZA)   Last of the winter migrants  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:20:55 pm

Week 9, 01 March 2008 - Jahra Farm

Pekka continued his exploration searching for the returning or late winter migrants. Images by Pekka Fagel

At Jahra Farm, Pekka found this late Indian Roller

Indian Roller

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