South Africa (ZA)   Bubiyan Census  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:40:56 pm

Week 14 - 30 March 2009, Bubiyan and Warbah Islands

We were fortunate and privileged to be able to get access onto the channels and inlets on the west and northern shores of Bubiyan Island to conduct a spring bird census. Bubiyan is the largest island off the NE coast of Kuwait and an important island with restricted access. Images by Mike Pope

On route to SAANR, I came across a male Lesser Kestrel, my first for this spring looking miserable sitting on a dried out rodent

Lesser Kestrel

I spent 30 minutes at SAANR checking one last time for Mongolian Finches on a cool and overcast morning. Again no luck although it did feel promising with the number and variety of birds coming to the small pool. Corn Buntings have now arrived in small numbers

Corn Bunting

This White throated Robin was quite vocal in the morning coolness

White throated Robin

On the early part of our trip we came across this coral outcrop exposed by low tide, which served as a roosting spot for a number of Terns

Coral outcrop

Most of the channels and inlets are fairly narrow around the western edge of the island, low tide meant staying in the deeper middle channels

Bubiyan channels (khor)

The first group of Terns seen included a number of Swift Terns

Swift Tern

Interspersed with Lesser crested Terns

Lesser crested Tern

Small numbers of Caspian Terns were also seen during the morning

Caspian Tern

Gull billed Terns were relatively abundant

Gull billed Tern

Slender bill Gulls with characteristic pinkish hue of breeding plumage were also seen

Slender bill Gull

Crab Plovers were seen along the banks of the various channels that we explored

Crab Plovers

We finally found a mixed 'heronry' which includes Spoonbills, Grey and Western Reef Herons. This part of the colony was made up mostly of Spoonbills


A Spoonbill flying in with some nesting material


A mixed flock of Cattle Egrets and pale Western Reef Herons

Herons and Egrets

A second roost revealed this Grey Heron on an elevated nest with two chicks

Grey Heron

There was a balanced mix of dark phase Western Reef Herons

Western Reef Heron

and pale phase Western Reef Herons. We asked the question as to whether these two colour phases bred together, but none of us had the answer

Western Reef Heron

The census team from L to R: Mike Pope, Rashed al Hajji, Abdulrahman al Sirhan and Pekka Fagel

Census Team


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