A BIRDING TRIP TO
Rami Lindroos, Ilkka Sahi & Keijo Wahlroos
Our trip was made at the best spring migration time, and
in our opinion
it succeeded well both technically and in the matter of birds seen. The
number of observed species was 160, of which we saw 9 -13 new Western Palearctic species each. In different seasons it
possible to see some more interesting species, which we missed on this
Local birders were most helpful and also the general hospitality was
In this report we give some basic instructions for birders planning a
The location of
There are no charter flights to
The currency of
We arrived in
From the airport we took a taxi to
After a quick breakfast we met Brian Foster
(email@example.com), a British birder who works as a teacher
However, after driving some distance, Brian´s jeep suddenly broke down. After
matter briefly we took a taxi to Sulaibikhat
Nature Reserve, and Brian left to organise the fixing of his jeep. We
birding at the reserve until afternoon, when Brian arrived with a taxi
checked together some other places around
Because Brian´s jeep was still broken, he had kindly asked his friend Mike Ling (with his car) to join us for this day. Most of the day was spent at the Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, where especially Tulha oasis held good numbers of birds.
After the Reserve we quickly checked Qaisat and Jahra Farms, and Brian and Mike dropped us at our hotel. Brian also gave us more information and driving instructions to other birding areas of the country and arranged a possibility of visiting Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve again in subsequent days.
8th April – 115km
After a quick breakfast we took a taxi to the airport, where we rented a Mitsubishi Pajero for the rest of our trip. We used the local Al-Mulla rental company, which we can warmly recommend. The car cost 16KD/per day without any limitations on distance. Besides that, the driver had to take out required insurance for an extra 10KD (valid for one month). The insurance covers all damage to the car in case of possible accident. The police must be called and arrive to write a damage report. KW was chosen as driver for rest of the trip. RL and IS read the map and made field notes about observations.
After car renting we still wasted a couple of hours by
searching for cheaper accommodation, without result. Then we continued
For the rest of the afternoon we continued to Doha South, were we met Brian and a newly arrived group of Danish birders – Tommy Frandsen, Andreas Hagerman, Martin Poulsen and Jens Søgaard Hansen. Because of the relative emptiness of Doha South we then moved to nearby Doha Spit for the last moments of daylight.
After sunset we found out that the Danes were staying just next to our hotel, so we drove back together and then met at dinner and made plans for the next day.
9th April – 195km
We met the Danes again at breakfast, and left for Qaisat oasis, where we spent about an hour. After that we drove to Sabah Al-Ahmed Nature Reserve and met Hussain Al-Qallaf and Khalid Al-Nasrallah, who had kindly promised to guide us around the reserve. The rest of the day was spent in the reserve with Khalid and the Danes. As a refreshing surprise Khalid had arranged the reserve workers to bring us a large cooler box of cold drinks during the hottest hours of the day!
10th April – 420km
After a quick breakfast we started again at Qaisat. Then we moved to a raptor watch point nearby at Jal Az-Zor, where, according to Brian, it should be possible to see relatively good migration. We spent there about an hour, and after that it started to be clear that at least today the weather was too calm and hot to see many birds moving.
Most of the afternoon was spent at Abdaly Farms in the northern part of the country. On our way back we made a quick stop at Rawdatain water pumping station and we still had time to check Jahra East Outfall before dusk.
11th April – 350km
After breakfast we left together with the Danes to try
some sea watching at Ras Az-Zour.
At the gate to the area the guards were friendly but made it clear that
not possible to go inside the area. That was why we decided to try sea
We spent a couple of hours at the beach, and then
continued to nearby Power Plant Reeds, while the Danish group continued
around the beach area. After that we wasted several hours by trying to
suitable sea watching place at Khiran
resort and from
the shore south of Khiran. However, the
shoreline from Khiran to the border of
Later in the evening Brian came to pick us and the Danes up to go to a Kuwaiti restaurant for a nice evening meal arranged by Khalid and the chief of the Voluntary Work Centre, Ahmad Al-Mershed. The dinner consisted of traditional Kuwaiti dishes and our hosts had invited also some other Kuwaiti birdwatchers (in fact most of the Kuwaiti birders) to meet us. We got back to our hotel a little after midnight.
12th April – 310km
After breakfast we started birding at Sabah Al-Salem, where we spent a couple of
that we drove to Doha Spit to watch waders gathered for high tide
roost. The wader
count was interrupted by the Danes – we got an SMS-message that they
had found an
Egyptian Nightjar resting on the dunes at
After about an hour and 100 km driving we were watching the bird together with the Danish group. After a short time sea-watching we also twitched a Yellow-browed Warbler found by the Danes at the western end of the beach. Then we had a short break in MacDonald´s, and started to drive unusually early back towards Kuwait City, because due to overbooking we were supposed to search for another hotel for our last night.
Back in our hotel we heard, that because of cancellations they actually still had room and we could continue to stay there. Although there were still a couple of hours of light left, the rest of the afternoon was used mainly for sleeping.
13th April – 260km
We started at dawn at Jahra East Outfall, where the first daylight hour was spent. Then we made a short stop at Qaisat and continued to the entrance of Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, where we met Brian and the Danes. Together we birded around the reserve for couple of hours.
After that we met again Khalid,
Ahmad and some other Kuwaiti birdwatchers, and continued together to a
guard base, from where Ahmad and Khalid
for us a boat trip to strictly closed Bubiyan
After the boat trip the group was split, and we continued with Brian, Ahmad and Khalid to Hujaijah, a place Brian calls 'a shooters' spot'. Rather strong wind and afternoon heat kept the birds hiding, but two Pallid Harriers, two Eurasian Sparrowhawks, a Booted Eagle and a Scops Owl were found shot, explaining the name of the place.
14th April – 360km
We met Brian and the Danes early in the morning at the beginning of the road leading to Salmi, and continued together to Al-Abraq Al-Khabari oasis. We were birding around the bird-rich oasis for some hours. The only negative thing was the locals shooting at birds. We found recently shot a Roller, a White-throated Robin and a Grey Hypocolius. Besides that, in principle the very friendly owner of the oasis showed us proudly a group of shot birds, which included about eight Night Herons, a Black-winged Stilt and a Grey Hypocolius. He was also clearly proud of his two hunting falcons (looking like Gyr Falcon and Saker), of which the more expensive Gyr Falcon had cost 8000 KD.
After the oasis we drove around good looking desert
areas near the
Finally we drove back to the airport, delivered back our car, and started to wait for our return flight. Again everything worked smoothly at the airport.
Our flight back to
Most good birding areas in
There is a short introduction to birding areas in
Kuwait in both Abdullah F. Alfadhel`s and
George Gregory´s books, but no driving
instructions are given.
That is why local contacts make birding much easier. Also nature
closed to the public and local contacts are needed to arrange a visit
Besides that, some places are private property (farming areas, etc.),
to enter must be asked from the owners (excluding Ras
Az-Zour, we were allowed to get into every
asked for). At this time, there are few visiting birders in
This part includes short description of all birding areas that we visited during our trip, with overall driving instructions. While reading the list, one must remember that some places were visited just briefly, and numbers of birds and their activity can vary a lot depending on daytime and season. The only disturbance was caused by locals shooting at birds; otherwise it was easy and safe to do birding in all visited places.
Large complex of sandbars, islands
and channels near the
The world´s largest known population of Crab Plovers (about 1600 pairs) breeds on the islands. Other numerous breeding species are for example Gull-billed Tern, Slender-billed Gull and Western Reef Egret.
Over 300km˛ fenced and guarded nature reserve
Large farming area (signposted from
the motorway leading to
RAWDATAIN WATER PUMPING STATION
Wall-covered water pumping station near Abdaly Farms, on the west side of the motorway
Like Abdaly Farms, but in
the southern part of the country (signposted from
AL-ABRAQ AL-KHABARI OASIS
A rather small private oasis farm in the western desert with some agricultural activity. From Jahra, take the road to Salmy and drive about 41 km. Then turn right onto a tarmac road (not in the map) and drive about 20 km and then turn south-west (green car tyre at the junction) to a dirt road leading to the oasis. Permission for birding must be asked from the owners.
Excellent place for observing resting passerines during migration. A negative thing is that the locals shoot at birds as a hobby in the area.
Large desert areas outside the oasis seemed to be very good for various larks, especially beside Wadi Al-Batin. The wadi itself is a border zone and it is strictly forbidden to go into the wadi over its northeast-southwest berm (sand wall).
The beach seems to be the best place to see Socotra Cormorants in
POWER PLANT REEDS
A small and easily observed reed-covered sewage pool (completely dry during our visit) just next to Ras Az-Zour. Take the road heading south from Ras Az-Zour (not shown on the map) and then turn right onto a dirt track leading to the pool. A good place for passerines resting on migration.
A large holiday resort in the south-eastern
corner of the country (signposted from
A small and rather easily covered area with reeds and sewage water at the south-western corner of the Fahaheel Expressway and the 6th Ring Road junction. You can enter the area by turning onto a suitable track from a slip road leading from the 6th Ring Road to Fahaheel Expressway (to south). A good spot for waders and crakes. The locals shoot at birds as a hobby.
A small cape on the eastern side of
Red-vented Bulbuls breed in the area and it can also be a good place to observe migrating passerines. On weekends (Thursday-Friday) the area is crowded with local people having a picnic.
Small and easily covered fenced
nature reserve on the western side of
Small-scale, wall-covered farming
area in the middle of
Some migrants stop in the area, but the place is probably better in winter. Outside the farm area Bank Mynas can be seen rather easily, for example on the electricity wires nearby.
Driving instructions are rather complicated. We turned
JAHRA EAST OUTFALL
Good-looking, reed-covered sewage
channel in the south-western corner of
The area is good for Acrocephalus warblers and birds resting during migration (passerines, waders). At low tide the shore nearby attracts plenty of waders. The locals shoot birds in the area as a hobby.
A rather small oasis in the south-western
Many passerines and some raptors rest in the area during migration and there are a couple of small water pools, where birds can come to drink. Besides that, the shore nearby attracts some waders at low tide. The locals shoot birds in the area as a hobby.
A couple of reed-covered pools east
of Doha Spit Motorway. There is a gap in the
motorway side fence with the sign 'Motorway ends 500m' (before
An excellent place for waders south
In the following section there is a systematic list of species observed during our trip with some details. Most observations were made together with Brian, Khalid and/or the Danes. Explanations for some markings: c = circa, m = migrating, p = local, a = flock, ad = adult, juv = juvenile, cy = calendar year.
Our numbers are clearly lower compared with the Danish group birding in same time on same areas – that is mainly because of the more effective birding technique of the Danes covering larger areas in each place, not because of different way of estimating number of birds. However, some of our numbers can be underestimates.
GARGANEY Anas querquedula
Only observation was on 8th April at Doha South, 1 ♂ flying-by.
COMMON QUAIL Coturnix coturnix
In total 5 birds; all were flushed by walking around suitable habitats.
GREAT CORMORANT Phalacrocorax carbo
About 15 birds in total; all
LITTLE BITTERN Ixobrychus minutus
On 8th April at Doha South 4p and on 14th April at Al-Abraq desert a9 in the middle of the day searching for a place to land.
NIGHT HERON Nycticorax nycticorax
On 6th April at Doha South 2 2nd cy birds. Also on 14th April local shooters had at Al-Abraq oasis a group of half dozen shot birds.
SQUACCO HERON Ardeola ralloides
Some individuals were seen in several days mainly around small reedbeds. Also one shot bird was seen.
CATTLE EGRET Bubulcus ibis
On 9th April at Jahra Motorway junction 1p, on 10th April at Qaisat 2p and on 13th April at Subiyah 1 flying-by.
WESTERN REEF EGRET Egretta gularis
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat
Nature Reserve 1p, on 8th April at
LITTLE EGRET Egretta garzetta
Only few birds were identified.
GREY HERON Ardea cinerea
Clearly the biggest counts were on 6th
April at Sulaibikhat Nature Reserve c100p
muddy low tide shore and on 13th April at Bubiyan
PURPLE HERON Ardea purpurea
Only observation: on 9th April at Qaisat 1 ad m. Probably the same bird was found shot at the same place couple of days later.
GLOSSY IBIS Plecadis falcinellus
Only observation: on 6th April at Doha South 1m.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL Platalea leucorodia
2 single birds on 13th April at Bubiyan and
GREATER FLAMINGO Phoenicopterus roseus
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat Nature Reserve a30 p and on 13th April at Qaisat shore a3p were the only observations.
BLACK KITE Milvus migrans
On 9th April at Qaisat – Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 5m and on 10th April 1 at the same area. All birds were typical eastern form Black Kites with brighter colours than normal European ones.
SHORT-TOED EAGLE Cirgaetus gallicus
WESTERN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus
In total 10 birds were seen in two days.
PALLID HARRIER Circus macrourus
In total 10 birds were seen. Also 2 birds were found shot.
MONTAGU`S HARRIER Circus pygargus
On 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve ad ♀ was the only observation.
EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus
In total c10 birds were seen. Also two shot birds were found.
COMMON BUZZARD Buteo buteo
In total c10 birds were seen. All birds belonged to eastern subspecies (probably vulpinus).
GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE
Only observation: on 8th April at
In total c13 birds, both local and migrating. Almost all birds were seen at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve area.
BOOTED EAGLE Hieraaetus pennatus
On 9th April at Qaisat 3 birds left the roost and started migrating. Also one shot bird was found.
OSPREY Pandion haliaetus
In total 6 birds were seen around shores of
LESSER KESTREL Falco naumanni
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve a3m, on 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 2ad ♂ and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall a3p.
COMMON KESTREL Falco tinnunculus
Clearly the most common raptor. Highest count on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve c50p.
EURASIAN HOBBY Falco subbuteo
Only observation: on 14th April at Jahra Farms 2m.
WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus
Only observation: on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 1 calling.
SPOTTED CRAKE Porzana porzana
On 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 8p and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall 1 calling.
COMMON MOORHEN Gallinula chloropus
Especially common at Sabah Al Salem and at Jahra East Outfall, couple of dozen birds in both places. Also few birds were seen/heard elsewhere in suitable habitat.
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus
In total 20 birds were seen in two days around shores
BLACK-WINGED STILT Himantopus himantopus
Was seen only at Jahra East Outfall, where on 10th April a5p and on 13th April c10. Besides that local shooters had one shot bird at Al-Abraq oasis.
CRAB PLOVER Dromas ardeola
On 6th April at southern
COLLARED PRATINCOLE Glareola pratincola
In total c55 birds were seen, all migrating in small flocks.
BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE Glareola nordmanni
On 13th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1m in a flock of Collared Pratincoles and at Bubiyan and Warba Islands a8 m. On 14th April at Al-Abraq desert a2 m. Also one recently shot bird was found at Jahra East Outfall on 10th April.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER Charadrius dubius
Only observation: on 10th April at Qaisat Shore 1 flying-by.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula
Highest counts were on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem c30p, at Doha Spit c20p and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall c60p.
KENTISH PLOVER Charadrius alexandrinus
Some birds were seen almost everywhere on the shoreline. In many places the adults were alarming and in some places also downy young were seen.
LESSER SAND PLOVER Charadrius mongolus
Was seen only at Doha Spit high tide roost, where on 8th April 150p and on 12th April 300p.
GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola
Some dozens of birds mainly on
RED-WATTLED PLOVER Hoplopterus indicus
On 9th April at Qaisat
1p, on 10th April at Abdaly
Farms 6p and
at Rawdatain Pumping Station 1p. At Abdaly Farms numbers include one probable pair
badly injured bird. Other three birds were surprisingly sitting on
(two nests were checked with 4 and 2 eggs) on dry sparsely vegetated
areas over 1km from each others. There is only one earlier breeding
Red-wattled Plover in
SANDERLING Calidris alba
LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta
Small flocks on best shores for waders. Highest numbers c50 at Doha Spit on 8th April and on 12th April.
CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea
DUNLIN Calidris alpina
Highest count on 8th April at Doha Spit c100p.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER Limicola falcinellus
Was seen only at Doha Spit, where on 8th April 35p and on 12th April 50p.
RUFF Philomachus pugnax
Only a few birds were seen.
JACK SNIPE Lymnocryptes minimus
On 13th April at Jahra East Outfall 1p.
COMMON SNIPE Gallinago gallinago
On 12th April at Sabah Al Salem c5 and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall c8 were the only observations.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica
On 10th April at Qaisat Shore c10, on 12th April at Doha Spit c40 and on 13th April at Bubiyan Island c20.
WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus
On 12th April at
EURASIAN CURLEW Numenius arquata
Highest count on 13th
April at Bubiyan and
COMMON REDSHANK Tringa totanus
In total c.50 birds were seen.
MARSH SANDPIPER Tringa stagnatilis
On 6th April at southern
COMMON GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia
On 10th April at Jahra East Outfall 2, on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 2 and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall 2.
GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus
On 10th April at Jahra East Outfall 4, on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 1 and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1.
WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola
In total c20 birds were seen in best areas for waders.
TEREK SANDPIPER Xenus cinereus
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve 1 flying-by, on 8th April at Doha Spit c40p, on 10th April at Qaisat Shore c20, on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem c10p and at Doha Spit c150p, on 13th April at Qaisat Shore c90 and at Bubiyan Island c400 birds in several flocks.
COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos
Some birds were seen almost daily at various shores. Clearly the highest count was on 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve a35m c15p.
RUDDY TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres
On 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 1p and at Doha Spit high tide roost 300p and on 13th April at Bubiyan Island c20.
BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus ridibundus
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve c50, on 12th April at Sabah Al-Salem 1p and on April at Jahra East Outfall c 20.
SLENDER-BILLED GULL Larus genei
Was seen almost daily. Highest counts on 6th
April at southern
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus fuscus
The only observations were on 8th April at
Doha Spit 1 ad flying-by and on 13th April at Bubiyan
CASPIAN GULL Larus cachinnans
On 10th April at
GULL-BILLED TERN Sterna nilotica
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat
Bay Nature Reserve 6, on 10th April at Qaisat
shore 1 and on 13th April at Jahra
Outfall 3 and at Bubiyan and
CASPIAN TERN Sterna caspia
On 6th April at southern shore of Sulaibikhat Bay 4, on 8th April at Doha Spit 1, on 10th April at Qaisat shore 1, on 12th April at Doha Spit 1 and at Pipeline Beach 1 and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall 35p and at Bubiyan and Warba Islands 1.
GREATER CRESTED TERN Sterna bergii
On 11th April at Khiran
Resort c8p and on 13th April at Bubiyan
LESSER CRESTED TERN Sterna bengalensis
On 11th April at Khiran
Resort 1 and on 13th April at Bubiyan
On 8th April at Doha Spit 2, on 10th April at Qaisat Shore 1, on 11th April at Khiran Resort 4, on 12th April at Doha Spit 1 and on 13th April at Jahra East Outfall 2.
BRIDLED TERN Sterna anaethetus
Was seen only at
LITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat
Bay Nature Reserve 7, on 8th April
ROCK DOVE Columba livia
Some hundreds of birds were seen daily. Common in
EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE Streptopelia decaocto
A couple of dozens were seen daily.
EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia turtur
Only observation: on 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Nature Reserve 1p.
LAUGHING DOVE Streptopelia senagalensis
Like Eurasian Collared Dove, but distribution more patchy.
NAMAQUA DOVE Oena capensis
On 6th April at
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET Psittacula krameri
On 8th April at
COMMON CUCKOO Cuculus canorus
Only observation: on 14th April at Jahra Farms 1.
EUROPEAN SCOPS OWL Otus scops
Only observation: on 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 1p. Also one shot bird was seen.
EGYPTIAN NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus aegyptius
A bird found by the Danes was twitched at
COMMON SWIFT Apus apus
Identified Common Swifts in total c25m.
PALLID SWIFT Apus pallidus
Identified Pallid Swifts in total c25 birds.
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER Merops persicus
In total c70 birds in small flocks.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apiaster
Was seen daily. In total c260 birds in small flocks
EUROPEAN ROLLER Coragias garrulus
Only observation: on 12th April at Pipeline Beach 1 flying-by. Also one recently shot bird was found at Al-Abraq oasis on 14th April.
EURASIAN HOOPOE Upupa epops
In total c10 birds were seen.
EURASIAN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla
Only observation: on 14th April at Jahra Farms 1p.
BLACK-CROWNED SPARROW- LARK Eremopterix nigriceps
DUNN´S LARK Eremalauda dunni
On 14th April at
Around Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve on 7th April 7, on 9th April 12 (includes ♂♀ + 2pull on their nest) and on 13th April 5. Besides that, on 14th April at Al-Abraq desert 9.
DESERT LARK Ammomanes deserti
Only observation: on 14th April at Al-Abraq desert 1.
GREATER HOOPOE LARK Alaemon alaudipes
On 13th April at Sabah
Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1 and on 14th April at
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK Calandrella brachydactyla
At Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve on 7th April at least 3 and on 13th April 1.
LESSER SHORT-TOED LARK Calandrella rufescens
On 11th April at Power Plant Reeds 3.
CRESTED LARK Galerida cristata
Rather common almost everywhere. Was seen daily.
TEMMINCK´S LARK Eremophila bilopha
Only observation: on 14th April at Al-Abraq desert ♂♀ and 2.
SAND MARTIN Riparia riparia
Small numbers were seen daily. Highest count on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Nature Reserve c60.
COMMON HOUSE MARTIN Delichon urbicum
In total c20 birds were seen.
BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica
Small numbers were seen daily. Migration of this species seemed to become stronger during second half of our trip. On the best day, 11th April, c250 birds were estimated.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW Hirundo daurica
The only observations were on 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve c5 and on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1.
TAWNY PIPIT Anthus campestris
Small numbers in several days. Clearly the highest count was on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve c35.
TREE PIPIT Anthus trivialis
Some birds were seen daily.
RED-THROATED PIPIT Anthus cervinus
Was seen daily. Seemed to become more common towards the second half of our trip. Best daily numbers on 10th April 70 and on 11th April 50.
YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava
Was seen daily. Best daily numbers on 10th April and on 11th April 70 and on 12th April 100. Most male birds were flava/beema-type, but also c20 birds of subspecies lutea and some birds of subspecies feldegg and thunbergii were seen.
WHITE WAGTAIL Motacilla alba
On 6th April at Sulaibikhat Bay Nature Reserve 1 flying-by, on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 2p, on 10th April at Abdaly Farms 2p and on 12th April at Sabah Al Salem 1.
WHITE-EARED BULBUL Pycnonotus leucogenys
RED-VENTED BULBUL Pycnonotus cafer
Only observation: on 8th April at
GREY HYPOCOLIUS Hypocolius ampelinus
On 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1 ♀ and on 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 1 ♂, on 10th April at Jahra East Outfall 2 ♂, on 11th April at Pipeline Beach 1 ♀ and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 3. Also recently shot ♂♀ were found at Al-Abraq oasis.
RUFOUS-TAILED SCRUB ROBIN Cergotrichas galactotes
Was seen almost daily, in total c30 birds.
BLUETHROAT Luscinia svecica
On 8th April at
WHITE-THROATED ROBIN Irania gutturalis
Was seen in most days, in total c20 birds. Seemed to be especially numerous on 11th April, when c10 birds were seen despite of birding just couple of hours in suitable habitats on that day. Also one male was found shot at Al-Abraq oasis.
COMMON REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Was seen daily. Highest counts were on 7th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha c20p and on 11th April at Power Plant Sewer c18p. All males were nominate subspecies.
WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra
Some birds were seen almost daily. Clearly the best day was 11th April, when c25 birds were seen.
COMMON STONECHAT Saxicola torquatus
On 8th April at Doha South 1 ♀ probably subspecies armenicus and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1 ♀ eastern subspecies (maurus/armenicus/variegatus).
ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Oenanthe isabellina
On 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1, on 10th April at Abdaly Farms 2 and on 11th April at Pipeline Beach 1.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe
Some birds were seen almost daily, in total c50 birds.
PIED WHEATEAR Oenanthe pleschanka
On 7th April at Sabah
Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve ♂♀, on 9th April at Sabah
Natural Reserve ♂♀, on 11th April at
BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR Oenanthe hispanica
Was seen almost daily, in total c35 birds.
DESERT WHEATEAR Oenanthe deserti
RUFOUS-TAILED ROCK TRUSH Monticola saxatilis
On 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve ♂ and on 14th April at Al-Abraq desert 2♂1♀.
SONG TRUSH Turdus philomelos
On 8th April at
REDWING Turdus iliacus
On 9th April at Qaisat
1p. In last 20
years, there were only about five records of Redwing in
GRACEFUL PRINIA Prinia gracialis
Was seen around
SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
The only observations: At Jahra East Outfall on 10th and 13th April 1 singing bird.
EUROPEAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus
In total c10 birds were seen.
MARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus palustris
On 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1p.
On 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 2p hiding well in trees.
GREAT REED WARBLER Acrocephalus arundinaceus
In total c12 birds.
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER Hippolais pallida
Only a few single birds were seen.
UPCHER´S WARBLER Hippolais languida
On 11th April at Power Plant Reeds 1p.
BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla
Was seen almost daily, highest count on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis c20.
GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin
The only observation: On 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1p.
BARRED WARBLER Sylvia nisoria
On 8th April at Green Island ♂, on 13th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha ♂ and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1.
LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca
Was seen almost daily, c60 birds in total. Birds differing markedly from nominate subspecies were not seen.
EASTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER Sylvia crassirostris
The only observation on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis ♀.
COMMON WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis
Less than ten birds were seen in total.
On 7th April at
MÉNÉTRIES´S WARBLER Sylvia mystacea
On 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 2, on 13th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve 1 and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 5. Probably in reality much more common, but hiding really well even in small bushes.
GREENISH WARBLER Phylloscopus trochiloides
On 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1p, probably subspecies nitidus.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus
On 12th April at western end of
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita
Only identified birds were on 12th April at western end of Pipeline Beach 1 and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 2. In reality probably clearly more common, much effort was not put to search them amongst Willow Warblers.
Common, at least some tens of birds were seen daily, Highest daily number on 11th April c200.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata
In total c20 birds were seen, of which on best day, 11th April, c12.
SEMI-COLLARED FLYCATCHER Ficedula semitorquata
On 6th April at
EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus
The only observation: on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1 singing bird.
ISABELLINE SHRIKE Lanius isabellinus
Was seen almost daily, in total c20 birds. All birds seemed to be subspecies phoenicuroides.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio
Less than 10 birds were seen in total.
SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE Lanius meridionalis
In total c15 birds were seen. Subspecies of the birds was not identified.
WOODCHAT SHRIKE Lanius senator
Was seen almost daily, c30 birds in total.
MASKED SHRIKE Lanius nubicus
On 12th April at western end of Pipeline Beach 1, on 13th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 1 and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis 1.
COMMON MYNA Acridotheres tristis
Some birds almost daily around
BANK MYNA Acridotheres ginginianus
Was seen only at Jahra Farms, where on 7th April 2ad and on 14th April 5ad.
HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus
Very common, at least several dozens were seen daily. Highest numbers were on 10th April at Abdaly Farms c500p, on 11th April at Wafra Farms c900p and on 14th April at Al-Abraq oasis c400p.
SPANISH SPARROW Passer hispaniolensis
Was seen only at Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, in where on 7th April 40p, on 9th April 2p and on 13th April 10p.
PALE ROCKFINCH Petronia brachydactyla
On 11th April at Pipeline Beach 1 flying-by
and on 12th April 1p at western end of
CINEREOUS BUNTING Emberiza cineracea
On 7th April Sabah Al-Ahmed Natural Reserve, Tulha 1 ♂ p, subspecies semenowi.
ORTOLAN BUNTING Emberiza hortulana
Was seen almost daily. Highest counts on 9th April at Sabah Al-Ahmed Nature Reserve, Tulha c.100p and on 13th April Sabah Al-Ahmed Nature Reserve, Tulha c.150p.
Pekka Fågel and Jorma
Tenovuo, who had visited
Jukka J. Nurmi helped by processing the pictures taken during our trip and adding to this report.