Week 48 - 26 November 2009, Jahra Pools Reserve
On the 25th November we had a low pressure cell over Kuwait which over the Eid weekend brought in almost 70mm of rain during a 30-hour period. Ouda Al Bathali was at Jahra Pools Reserve and found a White tailed Eagle, a first for Kuwait Images by Simon Price
I passed the news onto Simon, who visited the reserve in inclement weather on the afternoon of 26 November and he managed to see and photograph the sub adult White tailed Eagle - a magnificent raptor. I was at the reserve on 27th and 29th but did not relocate the bird. However, it was seen yesterday again by Rick Saval closer to the coast, so that is good news.
Whilst at the pools, Simon also found a lone Tufted Duck, but this bird showing the white face at the base of the bill which is uncommon on the female Tufted Ducks
Week 46 - 13 November 2009, Pivot Fields, Al Abraq, Doha South and Jahra Pools Reserve
Some really great birds have been seen in Kuwait the past 2-weeks including the 1st record of Indian Pond Heron. As Pekka was on a cultural visit to Budapest, I teamed up with Brian Foster and Simon Price to cover a good few locations in the course of the morning hoping to pick up on some of the birds seen in the past week. Images by Mike Pope
Our first stop was Pivot Fields and today we had a taste of colder temperaturs at 6:45am - only 15 degrees. Driving through the gates we put up a flock of Cattle Egrets against the rising sun.
But we werent here for Egrets; so we searched the fields looking for the large flocks of Northern Lapwings who are target bird was socialising with and eventually we picked up on the 2 Sociable Lapwings much to Brian's delight. They were in the company of 2 Golden Plovers - both superb ticks for Kuwait. I managed a record shot of a distant Sociable Plover. The Sociable Plovers were first seen on 8 November 09 not long after the one photographed on 31 October 09 in Bahrain by Adrian Drummond-Hill
We found large flocks of Skylark feeding in various fields - an Oriental has to be lurking somewhere amongst them
No luck with the Richards Pipit seen during the week, but one of many Tawny Pipit's was a consolation prize
Long legged Buzzards seem to be down in numbers so far this year, but we managed to get onto this 1cy bird
After 40-minutes, with target birds ticked it was the long drive out to Al Abraq where we found 2 Steppe Eagles still roosting in the desert. They decided to head for the skies when we stopped.
Earlier in the week the 1st record of Indian Pond Heron had been found by Abdulrahman Al Sirhan and both Rustic and Little Buntings were seen last weekend by Brian, Pekka and Simon. No luck with IPH, Little or Rustic, but we did come across a Corn Bunting
The wintering Water Pipits have arrived in numbers together with White Wagtails
Al Abraq was otherwise pretty quiet, with no raptors seen, but a number of hooligan shooters on the outside of the oasis racing around in 4 x 4's trying to shoot anything that flew across the desert. One last circuit around the farm proved to be worthwhile when we flushed a European Sisken (also seen earlier in the week) feeding with the Water Pipits. It wasnt long before this cracking male bird returned to continue feeding and provide both Simon and I with a lifer
Doha South which had been dry for many months has been filled with water, so we decided to check it out. As the invertebrates return, so will the birds. We were encouraged by seeing that 4 Purple Gallinules had returned, especially since they had previously bred at this site. I managed to catch this one in flight as it flushed during our approach
A white butterfly with a tinge of buff yellow seen a Doha - not sure of the species
From here we headed to Jahra Pools where Pochard, Ferruginous and Tufted Duck had been seen. We managed to relocate the Ferruginous together with Teal, Mallard and Wigeon - but too far away for photographs. A Snipe has hunkered down in the hope we wouldnt see it while looking at the ducks
But, not for long
We had plenty of Pallid Swifts overhead
A very pale Water Pipit - leucistic?
A drive around the boundary of the reserve produced an unexpected flock of 22 Penduline Tits - another cheer from Brian, his 2nd lifer of the morning and a good time to call it a day!