07/03/10

Kuwait (KU)   Hot and Blustery  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:20:38

Week 27 - 03 July 2010, Jahra Pools Reserve and SAANR

With school holidays, moving apartments and helping my family prepare for their long summer/winter holiday in South Africa, there hasnt been much time for birding. We have also had hot, blustery winds blowing for the past week and as it turned out, was good for bringing in some early autumn migrants. Images by Mike Pope


The temperatures have dropped a little from the "official" super-heated 54 degrees recorded in the week of the summer solstice, but it is still hot out there. I was out at the wrong time of day for photography and you know that when, it gets too hot to hold your camera. I stopped at Jahra Pools and water levels were respectable, birds were about but sheltering from the wind. Many first winter Yellow Wagtails have now returned and I saw this Red-throated Pipit and wandered if it is on passage with its damage leg, or remained through the spring?

Red-throated Pipit

A small flock of 4 Mallards flushed as I drove down a small road away from the main pan

Mallard

even with fluctuating water levels, Purple Gallinules can still be seen

Purple Gallinule

The Black-winged Stilts have had a successful breeding season at Jahra Pools, these juveniles now coming of age

Black-winged Stilts

As have the White-tailed Lapwings, famous for being the first confirmed breeding record for Kuwait

White-tailed Lapwing

There were large numbers of Black-crowned Finch Larks present, many in various stages of moult

Black-crowned Finch Lark

I noticed a more rufous looking small lark and was finally able to get some images confirming that it was a juvenile Dunn's Lark

Dunn's Lark

Dunn's Lark

3 Collared Pratincoles, also in moult, were seen amongst the Lapwings and Stilts

Collared Pratincole

Waders were well represented with - Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

A few scattered groups of Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

A single Little Stint

Little Stint

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

and a Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper

From here I drove to SAANR around midday and spent a little time at the Tuhla pool - a juvenile Kestrel dropped in to drink and cool down

Common Kestrel

Crested Larks are abundant around the pool over the summer, standing in the water, lying in the shade - anything to keep cool and regulate their temperatures

Crested Lark

My last stop was at the pan in the wadi where evaporation is a big challenge. However, there is some water to attract the birds. Again, it was larks that were the predominant species at this location. More Black-crowned Finch Larks were seen.

Black-crowned Finch Lark

Juvenile and adult Hoopoe Larks alternated between standing in the available shade and the water

Hoopoe Lark

It was interesting to observe how the different species try to keep cool. I guess that moulting during summer also assists in keeping cool, as there is more airflow through the feathers. Many species just stand very still to conserve energy and others lie in small scrapes with wings outstretched like this moutling Bar-tailed Lark

Bar-tailed Lark

A single juvenile Namaqua Dove was seen

Namaqua Dove

The Kentish Plover chicks seen on the last visit are now independent

Kentish Plover

A family of Cream-coloured Coursers came running in - but stayed at the edge of the water seep, standing very still for a long time

Cream-coloured Courser

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