03 October 2012

Ma’a salama Graham

Week 39, 29 September 2012 - Al Abraq

Al Abraq was the site where I had first introduced Graham Whitehead to the avian richness that Kuwait has to offer. It seemed a fitting location to bird with Graham Whitehead on his last weekend in Kuwait, before he returned to England.

We arrived early to find shooters on the boundary of the farm as is almost customary during autumn migration. Fortunately, there weren't many of them, but the evidence of their damage was still seen with two dead Eurasian Sparrowhawks and a number of Eurasian Golden Orioles that had been killed and wounded. A sad memory to leave Kuwait with for Graham, but we do hope that over time we can improve the need for and awareness of migrant conservation and protection.

Deceased Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Wounded Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
We birded the interior of the farm and many Sparrowhawks were observed in one of the plantations

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), don't they look much better alive?
Passerine numbers were disappointing, but a single Tawny Pipit was seen

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)
and growing numbers of Tree Pipits foraging along with Yellow Wagtails

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
A female Ménétriés’s Warbler was active in the exposed branches of an acacia tree and it appeared to have a longer than usual tail that it bobbed up and down excitedly

Female Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)

As the morning warmed up, a few more raptors appeared, Western Marsh Harrier

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
An assortment of Pallid Harriers

Female Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Juvenile Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Male Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

More Sparrowhawks and a bonus juvenile Shikra

Juvenile Shikra (Accipiter badius)

Surprisingly, a single Eurasian Teal flew out of the holding tank before we called it a morning and reminisced over the enjoyment of birding in this Land of Sand, we then said our goodbyes and headed back to Kuwait.

Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)


  1. Brave lads those Kuwaitis' - where were there relatives when Iraq invaded?

    Laurie -