South Africa (ZA)   Twitching a rarity  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:34:57 pm

Week 40 - 08 October 2011, Pivot Fields

There is nothing worse than getting news of a first and national rarity whilst you are away on a business trip, so I did not have hold high hopes that the bird would still be present when I headed out to Pivot Fields early on the Saturday - 3 days after it was found. Images by Mike Pope

I would really like to thank Howard King for allowing me to publish images of Kuwait birds on his Website for the past 5-years and in doing so; increase the awareness and potential of birding in Kuwait, a country still considered by many to the within Western Palearctic. The archives for the past 5-year on this site will provide visitors and birders alike a glimpse of birding throughout the year specifically in terms of arrival and departure of migrants.

My Kuwait Blog has moved to a dedicated site for Kuwait Birding and can now be found at http://kuwaitbirding.blogspot.com/ should you be interested in continuing the Kuwait birding adventures.

An obliging Pied Wheatear posed nicely in the warm early morning sun

Pied Wheatear

I caught this Hoopoe just before it disappeared out of the frame


One of the Rollers was still around

European Roller

as were numerous Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, this an adult showing its magnificent colours

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

and a first year Blue-cheeked Bee-eater fattening up for its long journey south

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

I checked the spot where the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen earlier in the week by Rashed, but found only a Common Snipe

Common Snipe

and a juvenile Namaqua Dove

Namaqua Dove

The morning was starting to warm up as I explored other parts of the farm, finding Common Ringed Plover

Common Ringed Plover

A first year Daurian/Turkestan Shrike

Daurian/Turkestan Shrike

And a lone Lesser Grey Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike

numbers of Black Kites were seen

Black Kite

a few Harriers were seen and I was able to photograph this Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

and Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

I found a Long-legged Buzzard, but they are way more skittish than the more common Steppe Buzzards

Long-legged Buzzard

By now it was just after 11am and I went back to check the field for the Pectoral Sandpiper, when I got a call from Khaled Al-Ghanem to say that it had returned to a small pool and was feeding. I got to the spot just before it was flushed by a Harrier, so was able to twitch this 1st for Kuwait. It took a lot more patience to finally get some decent photographs after waiting for it to return.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper


South Africa (ZA)   A morning at the Pivot Fields  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 03:39:26 pm

Week 39 - 01 October 2011, Pivot Fields

We have had a problem uploading images to the Blog and have only now found a workaround - so I can finally start posting my backlog from early October. Images by Mike Pope

I was at the farm early in the morning, where temperatures are now very pleasant. Just inside the gate I found a Common Snipe sitting quietly at a small pool of water

Common Snipe

In the same area a few Great Reed Warblers were also quite active

Great Reed Warbler

As well as a Tree Pipit foraging in amongst the crops

Tree Pipit

The numbers of Steppe Buzzards are slowly increasing and a good few were found roosting on the pivots

Steppe Buzzard

A small group of Purple Herons flushed as I approached the Croc pond, where they had roosted overnight

Purple Heron

A Bonelli's Eagle has been at this location for sometime and I was surprised to see one come swooping in to try take out one of the unsuspecting Purple Herons - it was unsuccessful, but the Heron had it's wake-up call for the day

Bonelli's Eagle

A Masked Shrike was seen in the cover of the acacia trees at the pond

Masked Shrike

As was a Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Exploring other parts of the farm, I found hunting Marsh Harriers

Marsh Harrier

European Roller

European Roller

and numbers of European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

in the open areas, there were numbers of Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

a single Black-eared Wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear

and a small flock of Greater Short-toed Larks

Greater Short-toed Lark

Common Kestrels were actively hunting over the open fields

Common Kestrel

However, the highlight and a lifer for me was the Eurasian Stone Curlew that I almost missed crouched in a small depression

Eurasian Stone Curlew

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