22 August 2012

Water, water everywhere

Week 33, 18 August 2012 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click on image to enlarge)

Now that work is completed on the roads and water supply for Jahra Pools Reserve, we can now get access again. In my 6-years in Kuwait, I have not seen Jahra Pools look this good with expansive pools spreading over the reserve - it should be a magnet for autumn migrants and the winter residents. However, the reed growth will have to closely monitored as they spread alarming fast and can very quickly close off and choke open pools.

Many of the other local birder/photographers were also at the reserve today and we almost weren't sure where to go, as there were so many more options. 

Hirundines were hawking over open water and then resting on some of the old fences, both Barn Swallows

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

And Sand Martins

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Food source is abundant with a lot of midge type insects which all birds were over indulging on and fattening up before they continue their journey south.

Many 1cy Yellow Wagtails and many too young to separate into sub-species.

1cy Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla f. flava)

Warbler seen were; Great Reed

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)
Sedge Warbler that was feeding alongside a Bluethroat

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

and good numbers of Savi's Warblers

Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)

Graceful Prinia's are slowly increasing in numbers after a particularly cold winter seemed to reduce their numbers a few years ago

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
A couple of 1cy Red-spotted Bluethroats were also seen

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
On the edges of the pools, the first Collared Pratincoles for this autumn were seen

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) 
As well as Common Ringed Plover which weren't present a few days back

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Little Stints can get quite territorial over the patch that they are feeding on and a few squabbles were seen

Little Stints (Calidris minuta)
Other waders included; Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) 
and Ruff

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
There was also a splash of colour with numbers of European Rollers 

European Roller (Coracias garrulus)
and a flock of European Bee-eaters that had roosted overnight and seen whilst we were waiting for the guards to open the gates

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
I found a distant Common Kingfisher that was successfully fishing from a barbed wire fence running through one of the pools, I was quite pleased with the results considering I had a 1.4 extender on The Beast

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Out in the middle of one of the pools I found a small flock of Garganey

Garganey (Anas querquedula)
and a few Little Grebes

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
and skulking in the reeds a couple of Little Crake were seen.

Little Crake (Porzana parva)
On a final circuit of the reserve before I left, 3 Black-tailed Godwits flew by at speed overhead,so I was quite pleased to have locked focus for an acceptable record image.

Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa)
So, a fantastic morning and I'm sure Jahra Pools is going to produce a rarity or two before the year is over.

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