South Africa (ZA)   Raptors out at Tuhla  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:01:24 pm

Week 39, 29 September 07 - Tuhla and Green Island

This past weekend was very quiet on all fronts, Pekka and Brian managed to visit Tuhla where a few more raptors were seen. I visited Green Island to check for any early winter visitors and had no luck, although the resident Red vented Bulbuls were seen proving that this is the most reliable site in Kuwait for these birds. Tuhla Images by Pekka Fagel and Green Island images by Mike Pope

A soaring juvenile Sparrowhawk over the Tuhla pool


A soaring juvenile Imperial Eagle over the Tuhla pool, the first for this autumn

Imperial Eagle

Ths juvenile Short toed Eagle rested in the pylon structure

Short toed Eagle

I visited Green Island, but it was relatively quiet with some migrants taking advantage of the sprinklers. Barn Swallows and Sand Martins were seen in equal numbers, this is a juvenile Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Not birding related, but crossing over one of the bridges, I was able to photograph a predatory Garfish before it saw me and disappeared into deeper water.



South Africa (ZA)   Raptors and migrants  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:14:39 pm

Week 38, 22 September 07 - Tuhla

I managed to spend an hour at Tuhla with my family away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The migrant numbers were down today, as many appear to have continued their journey south. Images by Mike Pope

I probably photographed the same sub adult male Pallid Harrier as Pekka did the day before

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

A Common Buzzard circling above the pool and then resting in the shade

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard

An adult Isabelline Shrike in the shade of the acacia

Isabelline Shrike

Sand Martins were hawking above the pool with Barn Swallows

Sand Martin

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

Week 38, 20 and 21 September 07 - Tuhla and Doha South

Pekka Fagel spent some quality time at Tuhla and captured some migratory raptors stopping to quench their thirst on their way south. Pekka and Brian Foster also visited Doha South. Images by Pekka Fagel and Abdulmoshen Alsuraye

A juvenile Montagu Harrier was seen around the pool

Pallid Harrier

A sub adult male Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

This juvenile Egyptian Vulture was most obliging

Egyptian Vulture

A Scops Owl was seen well

Scops Owl

Abdulmoshen Alsuraye was at Tuhla early on the 18 September and photogrpahed this juvenile Purple Heron

Purple Heron

A visit to Doha South provided great photo opportunities of obliging Purple Swamphens

Purple Swamphen


South Africa (ZA)   Windy autumn birding and Raptor passage  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:57:25 am

Week 37, 14 and 15 September 07 - Al Abraq and Tuhla in SAANR

Brian Foster, Pekka Fagel and I got in some quality autumn birding today in the western oasis of Al Abraq and the pool at Tuhla despite the sometimes windy conditions. The volume of migrants have decreased, although yesterday and the previous day there was a very good raptor passage through SAANR. Images by Mike Pope

Our first stop was Al Abraq which always has the potential to produce good birds and we were rewarded again today with our first European Nightjar, seen first by Pekka


A Black eared Wheatear was our first for this autumn

Black eared Wheatear

Ortolan Buntings have now replaced the Black headed Buntings seen a few weeks ago and made themselve known by their calls

Ortolan Bunting

Steppe Buzzards were part of the raptor migration over the past few days, this one was perhaps waiting for the next 'wave'

Steppe Buzzard

Brian got onto a Sykes Warbler flitting through the top of a tree swaying its whole body side to side

Sykes Warbler

A few young Turtle Doves were also seen passing through

Turtle Dove

I initially thought this juvenile Thrush Nightingale was a White throated Robin, but the rufuous tail is diagnostic for Nightingale

Thrush Nightingale

A European Hobby made a brief appearance before departing as quickly as it appeared


Al Abraq quietened down, so we decided to try Tuhla to check for any remnants of the raptor passage over the past few days, a lone Pallid Harrier was the only raptor to be seen today. It tried on numerous occasions to flush and catch one of the many larks causing pandemonium every time it took off

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

A pleasant surprise was seeing that Short toed and Lesser short toed Larks now outnumbered the Crested Larks

Short toed Larks

A Short toed Lark

Short toed Lark

The first Blackcap of this autumn

Female Blackcap

Out of the blue, this European Nightjar came flying in to the pool - the second for the day and perched typically on a low branch. I was really fortunate in getting this 'grab' shot



One juvenile Golden Oriole in was seen togther with an adult bird

Golden Oriole

This White chested Kingfisher appears to have taken up residence at the pool, especially with the abundant food source

White chested Kingfisher

Pekka Fagel photographed this first year Rufous tailed Rock Thrush at the pool

Rufous tailed Rock Thrush

At Tuhla yesterday Pekka and Brian witnessed the tail end of one of the Raptor passages where up to 600 raptors were seen, with the bulk being Steppe Buzzards. Pekka managed to photograph a few of the species passing over. This Steppe Buzzard was part of the main passage

Stepe Buzzard

A magnificent pale phase Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

A moulting Steppe Eagle soaring with the Buzzards

Steppe Eagle


South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:47:07 pm

Week 35, 08 September 07 - Sulaibikhat

I spent a 2 hours at Sulaibikhat Reserve with my son on Saturday, it is a safe place for him to ride his bike and gave me the opportunity for some casual birding. Images by Mike Pope

A few migrants were seen, Willow Warblers seem to arrive before Chiffchaff's in the autumn migration


A juvenile White cheeked Bulbul in a reflective pose

White cheeked Bulbul

There were a number of Namaqua Doves and I was able to photograph a male and female

Male Namaqua Dove

Female Namaqua Dove

A quick drive along the Bay provided some waders, the Greater Sand Plovers are all now in winter plumage

Greater Sand Plover

Turnstone's were plentiful today


It was odd to see a Spotted Flycatcher on the beach

Spotted Flycatcher

Ringed Plovers are still present in large numbers

Ringed Plover

A first year Slender billed Gull


Adult Little Terns were seen foraging up and down the Bay

Little Tern

Little Tern

Juvenile Little Terns have a very distinct upper wing pattern and can be confusing or create a flicker of excitement

Juvenile Little Tern

South Africa (ZA)   Al Abraq delivers again  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 02:21:05 pm

Week 35, 07 September 07 - Al Abraq

Pekka Fagel and Brian Foster were out at AL Abraq this weekend in a bad dust storm, but got onto some good migrants. Images by Pekka Fagel and Brian Foster

An exciting find were two Rosefinches that were seen and photographed at the oasis. Rosefinches are occassional visitors and are possibly overlooked in amongst all the first year Buntings seen during autumn migration. However, this is the first to be photogrpahed in Kuwait



Another exciting find was an adult Egyptian Vulture that came soaring overhead taking advantage of the strong winds. Image by Brian Foster

Egyptian Vulture

A juvenile Turtle Dove in an acacia tree

Turtle Dove

A Grey Wagtail was seen in amongst the Yellow Wagtails that have arrived in large numbers

Grey Wagtail


South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:02:14 am

Week 34, 25 August 07 - Al Abraq and Tuhla

Pekka was out earlier again this past weekend and got some images at Al Abraq and Tuhla. The Warbler numbers were down from the previous weekend.. Images by Pekka Fagel

A Great Reed Warbler in worn plumage. The large Warblers are certainly tricky at during the autumn migration and continue to challenge us

Great Reed Warbler

A Squacco Heron has been seen at the Tuhla pool every visit for the past 4 weeks

Squacco Heron

White throated Kingfishers are occassional vistors at the Tuhla pool quite far from the more expected habitat

White throated Kingfisher

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