08/06/11

South Africa (ZA)   Wind swept birding  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 07:40:09 pm

Week 32 - 06 August 2011, Pivot Fields

The wind had not let up, I persevered by checking out the Pivot Fields, but by 9:30 it was not enjoyable any longer. This is my last post until I return back to Kuwait in September from my long overdue summer vacation back to South Africa, some cooler weather and time on safari in the African bush. Images by Mike Pope


My first stop was at the Croc pond, but here the reeds are really overgrown and with the wind blowing through them not easy to see birds through the reeds and the fence. Two Garganey were seen paddling for shelter from the wind

Garganey


A first year Little Crake deep in the reeds

Little Crake


I then heard a familiar call and with patience found a male Red Bishop (Cat E species), but I think this bird has been here over a year now. I had to switch to manual focus to take out the fence and all the moving reeds, so was quite pleased with the result. We forget that not too many years back, manual focus was the only option available

Red Bishop


I saw a small bat fly out from some cover and land under a bush. I managed to relocate it and after moving away some of the foliage was able to photograph it. I believe there are only 3 species of bat in Kuwait - after a Google search I believe this to be one of the Vesper Bats called Kuhl's Pipistrelle. Information from the net says that this is typically one of the first bats to emerge in the evening when it forages for aerial insects with a slow but acrobatic flight. If my id is incorrect, I would appreciate the correct id

Kuls Pipistrelle


Kuls Pipistrelle


Kuls Pipistrelle


Driving around the farm the Black-crowned Sparrow Larks were in their usual area

Black-crowned Sparrow Lark


In the same area I found a single Caspian Plover

Caspian Plover


and a small family of Cream-coloured Coursers which I havent photographed for sometime. I like the pattern on the crown and nape of these two

Cream-coloured Courser


Cream-coloured Courser


Isabelline Wheatears have returned

Isabelline Wheatear


I found a single Upchers Warbler in some cover out of the wind swaying and bobbing its tail

Upchers Warbler


Yellow Wagtails numbers have increased with first year birds in fresh plumage and adults in tatty moulting plumage. By now, the wind had made birding unpleasant, so I headed to the Mall to get some provisions, but no coffee, as restaurants are all closed until Iftar during Ramadan

Yellow Wagtail


Yellow Wagtail



South Africa (ZA)   Rarity Stakeout  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 07:10:16 pm

Week 32 - 05 August 2011, Sulaibikhat

The Striated Heron had been seen again earlier in the week, so I headed to Sulaibikhat on the high tide and stayed till sunset. Images by Mike Pope


There was very fresh on-shore wind when I arrived at the site and it didnt let up for the rest of the afternoon. The wind assisted in pushing the high tide which kept the waders and gulls on the shoreline. Slender-billed Gulls and Little Stints made up the bulk of the species

Little Stints


Interspersed between the Little Stints I also found Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper


small numbers of Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sanpiper


a single Sanderling, this one very easily identified in the more usual plumage and I also noted the lack on a hind toe

Sanderling


Sanderling


First year Common Redshanks

Common Redshank


Common Redshank


Common Redshank


In amognst the Slender-billed Gulls I found some Little Terns and a few first year White-cheeked, probably from Kubbar Island

White-cheeked Tern


White-cheeked Tern


A couple of the over-wintering large white-headed Gulls have arrived - now I will have to study these all over again

Gull


Gull


amongst the flock of Gulls and Terns there were also Eurasian Curlew

Eurasian Curlew


some Whimbrel

Whimbrel


and a few Bar-tailed Godwits

Bar-tailed Godwit


I moved over to the small outfall where the Striated had been seen and watched the antics of the Indian Reef Herons trying unsuccessfully to catch dinner

Indian Reef Heron


Indian Reef Heron


Indian Reef Heron


a pair of House Crows are resident in this area and everytime they flew over they put up all the birds

House Crow


here an Indian Reef Heron looking like it's telling the House Crow to keep the noise level down - birds are feeding here!

Whimbrel


a pair of White-throated Kingfishers live inside the outfall tunnel, this one checking out the competition for food before disappearing into the tunnel

White-throated Kingfisher



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