South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:49:55 pm

Week 16, 20 Apr 06 - Tuhla, SAANR

We had another group of visiting birders from UK and a birder from Australia, so from Sulaibikhat we headed out to SAANR and the pool at Tuhla to check on the migration. Images by Pekka Fagel

This Black headed Bunting, from a different view was a first for this spring

Black headed Bunting

The Chestnut shouldered Sparrows were mixing with the Spanish and House Sparrows around the pool

Chestnut shouldered Sparrow

An Eastern Orphean Warbler was carfully scrutinised amongst the Lesser Whitethroats

Orphean Warbler

South Africa (ZA)   Migrants at SAANR  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:34:05 pm

Week 16, 20 Apr 06 - Tuhla, SAANR

We had another group of visiting birders from UK and a birder from Australia, so from Sulaibikhat we headed out to SAANR and the pool at Tuhla to check on the migration. Images by Mike Pope

This Black headed Bunting was a first for this spring

Black headed Bunting

A pair of Crested Larks were busy flying up and down gathering food to feed their brood

Crested Lark

An obliging Lesser Whitethroat foraging on the ground

Lesser Whitethroat

The Red backed Shrikes have suddenly made an appearance

Red backed Shrike

This male Spanish Sparrow was singing his heart out to get someone to check his nest

Spanish Sparrow

A group of House Sparrows enjoying the pool

House Sparrow

Some exotic Gazelles have been introduced into the reserve


An inquisitive beetle, disturbing the proliferation of the gene pool


A female/juvenile Montagu Harrier in the desert

Montagu Harrier

It didnt stay long enough for us to see what it had caught

Montagu Harrier

A record shot of a very pale phase Long legged Buzzard

Booted Eagle


South Africa (ZA)   Sparrowhawk at Sulaibikhat  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:53:22 pm

Week 16, 20 Apr 06 - Sulaibikhat Reserve

An early start at Sulaibikhat to look for migrants outside the reserve was sadly disturbed by shooters, although migrants were around they were obviously skittish. Images by Mike POpe

I did manage to chase this juvenile Sparrowhawk away from the hunters toward the coast line


Out over the sabkha, the Sparrowhawk hunted in a similar fashion to a Harrier, gliding low over the scrub and this did prove to be successful

Hunting Sparrowhawk

South Africa (ZA)   Al Abraq  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:09:50 pm

Week 14, 8 and 13 Apr 06 - Al Abraq and Tuhla

Pekka found some images that he had not passed on to me. Images by Pekka Fagel

Another Scops Owl was found at Tuhla on 8th April and this one shows characteristics of being a Striated - but we still need final confimation

Scops Owl

One of 3 Hume's Lesser Whitethroats at Al Abraq on 13 April, a tricky bird to separate from other similar species

Hume's Lesser Whitethroat


English (UK)   Kuwait Trip Report April 2007  -  Categories: Trip Reports  -  @ 06:26:04 pm


Chris Batty, Richard Bonser, Andy Clifton and Andrew Holden

Email: richbonser8181@hotmail.com
to view full report click HERE

Up until very recently it was difficult to impossible for foreign nationals to visit Kuwait in a tourist capacity. The visa rules changed a couple of years ago and in April 2006 a Danish and a Finnish birding group visited the country and opened our eyes to the potential of such a trip. A chat with George Gregory following his presentation at the 2006 OSME meeting further whetted our appetite to visit the country.
This trip report covers the observations and information gleaned during a birding trip to Kuwait in April 2007. The main purpose of the trip was to find some difficult to see species in the Western Palearctic as well as experience the birding that the country has to offer. Kuwait is the only place in the Western Palearctic where Socotra Cormorant, Lesser Sand Plover, Red-vented Bulbul and Bank Myna can be reliably found. Added to this several other target species that Kuwait is good for (and that we recorded) include Crab Plover, Red-wattled Lapwing, Crested Tern, White-cheeked Tern, Bridled Tern, Dunn’s Lark, Black-crowned Finch Lark, White-eared Bulbul, Grey Hypocolius and Basra Reed Warbler. Fortunately our visit also coincided with the first breeding record for Kuwait of Common Babbler and an over-wintering Long-tailed Shrike.


South Africa (ZA)   A walk around Sabah al Salem  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 05:22:47 pm

Week 15, 14 Apr 06 - Sabah al Salem

After the rains, I decided to have a quick walk around Sabah al Salem. Migrants are still passing through, but with the clearer weather and southerly winds, they will be off again. Images by Mike Pope

The adult Kentish Plover tried to distract me from his offspring, who remained very still when I tok this photograph

Juvenaile Kentish Plover

A male Pied Wheatear in he sabkha

Pied Wheatear

Another Woodchat Shrike, the first of which I had seen during the previous week

Woodchat Shrike

The Woodchat Shrike is a great looking bird

Woodchat Shrike

South Africa (ZA)   Ferry Trip to Falaika Island  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 05:15:22 pm

Week 15, 13 Apr 06 - Falaika Island

Whilst Pekka and Brian were out in the desert, I took my family on the last day of school holidays, on the ferry from Salmiya to Falaika Island. Images by Mike Pope

There was a mix of Lesser crested Terns in both breeding and non-breeding plumage following the turbulence created by the ferry looking for some scraps. This bird in breeding plumage was calling in flight

Lesser crested Tern_breeding

Non-breeding or juvenile Lesser crested Tern

Lesser crested Tern

Another non-breeding or juvenile Lesser crested Tern

Lesser crested Tern

An acrobatic White cheeked Tern harassing a Lesser crested Tern

White cheeked Tern

A satisfied White cheeked Tern having successfully chased off the Lesser crested Tern

White cheeked Tern

I managed to capture the Arctic Skua as it took off to escape the passing ferry

Arctic Skua

I have only added these images now, as the id of this seabird did provide some challenges (and initial excitement). It has now been confirmed as an intermediate phase Arctic Skua

Arctic Skua

Intermediate Phase Arctic Skua

There were many Red throated Pipits on the island, this one was caught having a bath in a puddle from the overnight rain

Red throated Pipit

South Africa (ZA)   Spring rain in Kuwait  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:31:18 pm

Week 15, 13 Apr 06 - Fahaheel Park, Al Abraq and SAANR

Pekka, Brian and some friends were out on Friday after a week of wind, dust, rain and even some hail. Images by Pekka Fagel

A Night Heron was flushed walking around Fahaheel Park

Night Heron

This magnificent White throated Robin presented itself at Al Abraq oasis

White throated Robin

An unidentified Wheatear at Tuhla, if you have any ideas please drop us a mail


These Lesser Kestrels took refuge on a pylon during an unexpected thundershower at Tuhla in SAANR

Lesser Kestrels

The Painted Ladies are the most common butterflies in Kuwait, this Eastern green striped White was a new addition for this Spring



South Africa (ZA)   Sulaibikhat Reserve  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 04:00:02 pm

Week 14, 7 Apr 06 - Sulaibikhat Reserve

My son enjoys cycling the quiet roads in the reserve and that gives me the opportunity to bird at the same time. Images by Mike Pope

Sitting in the hide, I had 7 Ortolan Buntings, I managed to photograph both male and female

Female Ortolan Bunting

A magnificent male Ortolan Bunting

Male Ortolan Bunting

South Africa (ZA)   A new group of visiting Birders  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:52:30 pm

Week 14, 6 Apr 06 - Zour Port

We had 3 groups of visiting birders during this week, topping up on their Western Palearctic lists. Images by Mike Pope

The mixed flock of visiting birders, representing the highest (14) daily count of birders in Kuwait! This was taken at Sewer Plant reeds in the South

European Visitors

A stop at Power Plant Reeds on the way to Zour gave us a Rufous tailed Bush Robin, complete with parasite on it's neck.

Rufous tailed Bush Robin

We proceeded to Zour Port, where access is tightly controlled and spent a few hours scanning the exposed sandbank for Gulls, Terns (Lesser crested and White cheeked) and Socotra and Great Cormorants


Our group of visitors enjoying the great views of Socotra Cormorants on the sandbank

Birding Intensity

A Caspian Tern that decided the sandbar was too crowded

Caspian Tern

A small flock of Lesser Kestrels passed overhead, heading north. The males were outnumbered by the females

Male Lesser Kestrel

Female Lesser Kestrels were the majority in the flock

Female Lesser Kestrel


South Africa (ZA)   Migrants on the move  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:07:00 pm

Week 14, 7 Apr 07 - Tuhla (SAANR)

Pekka was back at Tuhla to see the migrants passing through. The following images by Pekka Fagel

A male Semi collared Flycatcher in the trees around the pool.

Male Semi collared Flycatcher

A female Semi collared Flycatcher in the trees around the pool.

female Semi collared Flycatcher

A melanistic Sparrow drinking with a group of Spanish Sparrows

Melanistic Sparrow

Common Sandpiper in the Tuhal pool

Common Sandpiper

Redstarts were present in the surrounding trees around the pool


A magnificent White throated Robin

White throated Robin

Blackcaps are now passing through in numbers


South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:42:00 pm

Week 13, 31 Mar to 2 Apr 07 - Tuhla, Al Abraq and Doha

Pekka was out visiting a few locations this week. The following images by Pekka Fagel

This Scops Owl at Tuhal in SAANR was carefully scrutinised this time.

Scops Owl

The mixed flock of Egrets and Herons seemed to have increased in numbers at Al Abraq, there are 39 Squacco Herons in this image.

Squacco Heron

A female Menetries Warbler out of habitat proved a challenge at Al Abraq

Female Menetries Warbler

Lesser Kestrels were passing by overhead

Female Lesser Kestrel

Red throated Pipits showed well out at Doha

Red throated Pipit

South Africa (ZA)   Migrants at Al Abraq  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 01:16:55 pm

Week 13, 30 March 07 - Al Abraq

After the discovery of the Accentor by Pekka and his group, I headed out early with Graham Whitehead and Andrew Shaw to see if we could relocate the bird. Unfortunately, we didnt have any luck but were rather thrown off the trail by a male Winchat which has surprisingly similar markings when seen from the back. There were however many migrants passing through, that made up for the journey. The following images by Mike Pope

This male Winchat was a first for me and created some confusion with similarity in features (when seen from the back) to Raddes Accentor.

Male Winchat

The male Winchat is quite a stunning bird.

Male Winchat

I managed to get a frontal shot of this Cinerous Bunting

Cinerous Bunting

A Chiffchaff 'fattening' up for the journey north


A skulking male Menetries Warbler

Menetries Warbler

The Lesser Whitethroat was gleening its way through the shrubs

Lesser Whitethroat

Yesterday there were 5 Semi collared Flycatchers, today I only managed to locate one of them

Semi collard Flycatcher

A pair of Redstarts were hawking nearby

Male Redstart

Female Redstart

Female Redstart

This Masked Shrike was my first for this year

Masked Shrike

We found a mixed flock of Egrets and Herons, this Cattle Egret presented itself on the top of a tree

Cattle Egret

Two Black crownded Night Herons were also in the mixed flock

Night Heron

On the way back to Kuwait, Graham and Andrew flushed a pair of Hoopoe Larks and on closer investigation found this next. This clutch of 5 eggs appears to be the highest recorded for this specie. Image by Graham Whitehead

Hoopoe Lark nest


South Africa (ZA)   Jahra East  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 01:05:42 pm

Week 13, 30 March 07 - Jahra East

Pekka Fagel and I visited Jahra East in an effort to locate Basra Reed Warbler, with which we were unsuccessful (this time). The following images by Mike Pope

The Graceful Prinia' were quite vocal in and around the reedbeds, this one presented itself quite well

Graceful Prinia

Again, there were many Yellow Wagtails present, but this was the first lutea I have seen this spring

Yellow Wagtail

South Africa (ZA)   Sabah al Salem  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 12:58:59 pm

Week 12, 29 March 07 - Sabah al Salem

My son wanted to go for a walk after his tennis lesson, Sabah al Salem was the closest for this. The following images by Mike Pope

Migrants are starting to pass through in many areas, this Woodchat Shrike was my first for the year

Woodchat Shrike

It is easy to overlook the common birds, but this male House Sparrow was making a gallant effort to attract the attention of some nearby females

House Sparrow

South Africa (ZA)   Rarity at Al Abraq  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:48:39 am

A first for Kuwait at Al Abraq

Pekka Fagel was out out at Al Abraq on 31 March 2007 with the visiting Swedish birders and was alerted to this Radde's Accentor (final confirmation of ID is still pending) by Krister. This is a first for Kuwait and was cause for much celebration by all, especially at the end of a successful trip. Pekka managed to get some great images

Radde's Accentor

Radde's Accentor

Radde's Accentor

Radde's Accentor

Radde's Accentor

Radde's Accentor

South Africa (ZA)   Gallery - Maitham Almesri  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:23:16 am


Local photographer, Maitham Almesri kindly allowed me to showcase some of his images

A Gull with its dinner


A Common Myna


A series of Grey Heron images, this one achieved first place in a competition

Grey Heron

A Grey Heron in flight

Grey Heron

A Grey Heron portrait

Grey Heron

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