South Africa (ZA)   Quiet summer biriding  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 08:53:53 am

Week 26, 27 June 2008 - Sabah al Salem, Salmiya, Green Island, Kuwait Towers, Sulaibikaht Bay, Doha South and Jahra East Outfall

My family have migrated south away from the summer heat of Kuwait to the chilled winter on the Johannesburg highveld in South Africa. Today, I decided to try and visit a few sites with mixed luck. Images by Mike Pope

The pans at Sabal al Salem have all but dried up, so the birds have departed. I had no luck with Crested Myna in Salmiya so headed to Green Island and sure enough the Red vented Bulbuls made an appearance, although they are not co-operative for photography.

Red vented Bulbul

In summer, House Sparrows and Collared Doves seem more prevalent. I keep checking the Collared Doves for African, but no luck yet since I have been in Kuwait.

Collared Dove

Kuwait Towers was the next stop, but the Bank Myna's didnt get the memo that I was coming, so onto Sulaibikhat. I found this Blue-throated Agamid (Trapelus persicus fieldi) perched on top of the reserve fence escaping the heat of the sand.


Dark phase Western Reef Herons were more common than the pale phase

Western Reef Heron

I came across small groups of juvenile Cream coloured Coursers here and at Jahra East

Cream coloured Coursers

Along the beach, I picked up a few non-breeding Greater Sand Plovers

Greater Sand Plover

This time last year, Purple Swamphens bred at Doha South. I was saddened to find that this site had all but dried up and only 3 Black winged Stilts were seen in the last remaining bit of water

Black winged Stilt

Although the tide had receeded, Jahra East is always a worthwhile stop. I was surprised at the number of migrants still present - returning or just never left? I counted 2 Blue cheeked Bee eaters

Blue cheeked Bee eater

An obliging Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Both White and Yellow Wagtails were present, this is ssp beema

Yellow Wagtail

Clamorous Reed Warblers were heard and seen calling in the reeds, which are now re-growing after the fire

Clamorous Reed Warblers

3 Little Bitterns were present along the 'fresh' water course

Little Bittern

At first glance this bird appeared like a Tern in the distance over the heat haze, but once I got my binny's on it saw that it was a Hobby that stopped over for a drink (it could have picked a better place than this pool)



South Africa (ZA)    -  Categories: Contacts  -  @ 11:57:18 am

Abdulrahman al Sirhan

email: alsirhan@alsirhan.com

Mobile: +965 787 8538


South Africa (ZA)   Rarities on a hot blustery day  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:48:36 pm

Week 23, 07 June 2008 - Pivot Fields, SAANR, Jahra East Outfall

Following 2 days of wind and dust storms, Brian Foster and I ventured out to a few of the better sites. The wind was still gusty and hot, but the dust had subsided a little to make it bearable for birding. Images by Mike Pope

First stop was the pivot fields where we visited the marshy depression and found a juvenile Little ringed Plover together with an adult

Jvenile Little ringed Plover

We were delighted to also discover 4 adult and 1 juvenile White tailed Plover. This photo shows the adult, with the adult Little ringed Plover in the foreground

White tailed Plover

The juvenile White tailed Plover stretching

Juvenile White tailed Plover

Squacco Herons were represented by adults in breeding plumage and juveniles

Squacco Heron

This 'dark' Squacco Heron had us guessing a bit, but on closer inspection it appears to be oiled

Squacco Heron

We havent been able to get access to SAANR in recent weeks, but today we were allowed to enter. We stopped at the pool on the top of the ridge to check unsuccessfully for Rock Sparrow, we did find a juvenile Chestnut shouldered Sparrow (Petronia)

Chestnut shouldered Sparrow

Some migrants were around at Tuhla, like European Roller, Golden Oriole, House Martin and this Ruff


After a long search at the wadi and then back to Tuhla, we eventually found the Lappet faced Vulture (possible Arabian race, negevensis) which is a first for Kuwait. It is a large and impressive bird that was originally found by Khaled al Nasrella around the 17 May 2008.

Lappet faced Vulture

We were fortunate to see the bird flying and landing in the shade out of the wind

Lappet faced Vulture

Contented, we departed for Jahra East and the 4.1m high tide. This was around midday, so the light for photography was not in my favour. There were many gulls, terns and shorebirds feeding on the incoming tide, including these Little Terns.
The bird in flight is very similar to a Saunders Tern, but is more likely a 2nd year summer plumage Little Tern with brownish grey outer 4 primaries wth greyish centres and an obvious white tail and rump

Little Tern

In amongst the waders, we found a Red necked Phalarope in breeding plumage

Red necked Phalarope

Yesterday Rashed al Hajji had seen Kuwaits 3rd record of Grey (Red) Phalarope and when we met up, he helped us relocate the bird, resplendent in breeding plumage. The bird was actually found by Khaled Al-Ghanem on 5 June 2008. Brian was elated in finally seeing a red, Red Phalarope!

Grey (Red) Phalarope

The Red Phalarope was fairly obliging, although we couldnt get close enough for better photographs. This image clearly shows the white wingbars in flight

Grey (Red) Phalarope

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