South Africa (ZA)   Its heating up out there  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 08:55:04 pm

Week 25 - 12 June 2009, Pivot Fields, Jahra East Outfall, Jahra Farm and Sulaibikhat Bay

Even with an early start you dont escape the summer heat, but birders will attest that given the opportunity they will be out in any weather conditions - as you never know what you may encounter or learn. Images by Mike Pope

Despite the greenery, water and food supply even the Pivot Fields lacked diversity. Although during summer, it appears that all the House Sparrows in Kuwait congregate at this site. As I said earlier, you never know what you may encounter and today was a flock of 5 very skittish Red wattled Lapwings which kept the rising heat haze between my camera and the flock. Dhubs (Spiny tailed Lizards) were much more abundant


This unidentified sparrow sized bat was forced to vacate its roost to quench its thirst swallow style at the crocodile pond. It was successful 3 times in drinking on the wing, but the 4th time mistimed its approach and hit the water. It frantically used its wings to get itself to safety but immediately attracted the interest of one of the crocodiles who felt the vibrations through the water - fortunately the bat got to the edge in time, not that it would have been much of a meal.


By the time I got to JEO it was already too hot for productive birding. I did encounter an adult and juvenile Cream coloured Courser. Mixed flocks of adult and juvenile Coursers are being seen at most sites the past few weeks

Cream coloured Courser

I was quite surprised to find this single European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

A tired looking White winged Black Tern also flew by

White winged Black Tern

In the heat of the day, I discovered a breeding female Kentish Plover at Sulaibikhat. I was amazed that such a small bird had an open scrape of a nest completely exposed to the harsh summer elements. This image gives you an idea of the habitat

Kentish Plover

I watched as it alternated between sitting on its single egg

Kentish Plover

and standing over the egg just providing shade and using its feet to move the egg. Every so often it disappeared to the water edge to soak its belly feathers that obviously provided some additional cooling

Kentish Plover

I was able to photograph the single egg when the bird departed to the waters edge and was surprised at its size in comparison to the size of the bird itself. At this stage the outside temperature measured 48 degrees - isnt nature just amazing that even in the harshest of conditions, life cycles continue

Kentish Plover

On the way home, I found a large mixed flock of Cream coloured Coursers on the beach at Sulaibikhat Bay, most of the birds had taken advantage of whatever shade they could find to shelter themselves from the heat of the midday sun

Cream coloured Courser


South Africa (ZA)   Sulaibikhat Bay  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 11:08:47 pm

Week 23 - 05 June 2009, Sulaibikhat Bay

My son wanted a quick ride on his bike and the gravel road along the coast at Sulaibikhat is a safe place to ride. Sadly, we found a very large 4m Hammerhead Shark on the road, that appeared to have been killed only for it's tail and fins. Images by Mike Pope

The tide was pretty full, so waders had moved elsewhere to feed; but we did see one juvenile Cream coloured Courser, a lone Whiskered Tern and this juvenile Red backed Shrike baking out in the heat

Red backed Shrike


South Africa (ZA)   A hot and blustery day  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 09:06:26 pm

Week 22 - 30 May 2009, Pivot Fields

It was not an ideal day to be out birding, conditions were very hot coupled with gusting winds. However, my 6-year old son wanted some birding tuition, so who was I to say no. Images by Mike Pope

We visited the Pivot Fields but at 8am it was alreay too late for optimum birding as the temperature was around 42 degrees. As a result not many birds were around, also indicating that migration was an event of the past. We did pick up some tail end stragglers, the first in the form of a lone Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

There were two Marsh Harriers present and I'm not surprised as the huge numbers of House Sparrows are still an abundant food supply

Marsh Harrier

We found a flock of 3 Lesser short toed Larks

Lesser short toed Larks

A mixed flock of juvenile and adult Cream coloured Coursers were seen feeding in one of the fields and confirmation of succesful breeding

Cream coloured Courser

This juvenile Black Kite had me going with its odd moulting plumage, but after some consultation the ID was agreed

Black Kite

An unexpected sighting was a European Nightjar relaxing in the shade inside the fence of the crocodile enclosure

European Nightjar

Hawar-Islands.comBirding Top 500 CounterHawar-Islands.com
Bahrain Bird Report Bahrain Kuwait Birding

powered by