06/12/11

South Africa (ZA)   Cheerio Brian  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 01:11:24 pm

Week 23 - 10 June 2011, Jahra East Outfall, Jahra Pool and Pivot Fields

My birding colleague and friend Brian Foster is retiring and departing Kuwait when school finishes later this month. Brian is the person who I have known the longest in Kuwait and who has shared and taught me a lot with respect to western Palearctic birding. As I am travelling for most of the rest of June, we took this opportunity to enjoy our last Kuwait birding outing together, despite the less than ideal conditions. Images by Mike Pope


We were at Jahra East Outfall by 6am, but the high tide wasnt quite high enough. No sign of the Red Knot in the blustery and dusty conditions - although still some diversity in terms of waders present. The next stop was Jahra Pool, which produced very little, so we opted to head to the Pivot Fields. We can safely say that Spring migration is over, but we did still find a late male Lesser Kestrel (note the pale claws)

Lesser Kestrel


We also found a Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole


followed by a second bird that appeared superficially darker with a less than obvious red underwing. The very faded white trailing edge was only obvious once the image was processed which then confirmed it as Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole


We decided to call it a day, as the wind picked up and started blowing more dust. On the way out we picked up a medium sized flock of Black-crowned Sparrow Larks

Black-crowned Sparrow Lark


06/06/11

South Africa (ZA)   Rarites galore  -  Categories: Annual Kuwait Bird Reports  -  @ 03:00:32 pm

Week 22 - 04 June 2011, Sulaibikhat and Jahra East Outfall

The end of Spring Migration has provided some amazing rarties in Kuwait, starting with the Pied Stonechat, a 1st for Kuwait in late May. Images by Mike Pope


This was followed by the 3rd record of Long-tailed Skua seen at Jahra Pools and then on 01 June 2011, Rashed Al-Hajji discovered a Red Knot, the 2nd record for Kuwait - but more amazingly is that the first record was seen way back in 1962! On the same day, Artic Tern (the bird associated with the longest migration flight on record) dropped in at Jahra East Outfall giving us Kuwaiti birders much to be pleased about. I was only able to get out on the Saturday, but bad weather the preceeding days gave some hope that birds were still grounded. I stopped first at Sulaibikhat Bay and found 2 Arctic Terns in the company of Little and Sandwich Terns (sadly, too distant for a photograph). On the way out to Jahra East Outfall found this quizzical Blue-headed Agama

Blue-headed Agama


The 4m high tide was still pushing in when I arrived at JEO, together with many of the other Kuwait birders. We easily found the Red Knot resplendent in breeding plumage and looking rather plump and overfed amongst the other smaller and sleeker looking waders. We enjoyed watching it as it slowly edged closer on the incoming tide, but never quite close enough for my 400mm

Red Knot


Red Knot


Red Knot


I couldnt stay as long as I had hoped, but 2 new birds in a morning's outing was very satisfying. Just as I was leaving I noticed this distant Curlew with an obscenely long bill. My guess it is either a female European Curlew or orientalis sub-species. I never got to see the rump colour.....but my mind did wonder

Curlew



06/01/11

South Africa (ZA)   Rarity search continues  -  Categories: Annual Kuwait Bird Reports  -  @ 11:39:12 am

Week 21 - 27 May 2011, Jahra Pools and later Sharq Harbour

The Pied Bush Chat (a first for Kuwait) was seen again at Jahra Pools Reserve yesterday, so after my son's golf lessons we were back at Jahra Pools in search of this mega. Images by Mike Pope


Again I was unsuccessful, but we believe it to still be present but elusive. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed the few remaining Red-necked Phalarope females that are almost all in full breeding plumage

Red-necked Phalarope


Red-necked Phalarope


Red-necked Phalarope


Later in the week, I stopped for 30-minutes early in the morning at Sharq Harbour, on the way to having my car serviced. No gulls at all, but did have an adult and juvenile Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern


Sandwich Tern


An unexpected surprise was a single Socotra Cormorant (a rare summer visitor to Kuwait) that was really enjoying a bath and wash in the sea, before it flapped off laboriously with a hop, skip and jump to go an dry out on one of the harbour buoys

Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant


Socotra Cormorant



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