06 May 2013

Migration continues

Week 17, 25 April 2013 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

I had a productive morning at Jahra Pools and am always amazed at the bird movement during migration - no two days are the same!

As it was the Pools, passerines were outnumbered by waterbirds and waders, but there was still good variety to be enjoyed by Khaled Al Ghanem and I.

This week Common Ringed Plovers had replaced Little Ringed Plovers that were seen in the previous week.

Displaying Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

The Kentish Plover adults were not as vigilant over their now grown chicks which were almost independent

Male Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
There were large numbers of Curlew Sandpipers in a variety of summer plumage's

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Good numbers of Temminck’s Stint, here two plumage variations

Breeding plumage Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)

Non-breeding plumage Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
Were found amongst the many Little Stints

Adult Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Normally Little Bittern are skulking and elusive but today I saw at least 4 individual males - they may even be breeding in the reeds. This was a hand-held grab shot with a 600 + 1,4x as it flushed out of the reeds!

Male Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)
A couple of Little Egrets were seen foraging and moving between the different pools

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Out on the pools I found a pair of Ferruginous Ducks which are most likely the parents for the 4 ducklings we found earlier in the month. This would constitute the first breeding record of this species for Kuwait if accepted by KORC

Male and Female Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
I also found the female Mallard with it's 10 much bigger ducklings, another first breeding record for Kuwait if accepted by KORC

Female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) with her ducklings
A lone female Tufted Duck was seen on the bigger western pool

Female Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
There seems to have been an eruption of Red-backed Shrikes all over the Region and they are literally seen everywhere. Thanks to Yoav for highlighting that Red-backed Shrikes do a complete moult in Africa (in winter), so it is impossible to age them in Spring, but most can be sexed.

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

Male Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
This Common Whitethroat was seen preening after having had a bath

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

Sedge Wablers were heard and seen along the reed base

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
A few Upcher's Warblers are around and this species has also been seen at most sites

Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida)

The Willow Warblers are found in and around the reed beds and many of this little birds fall victim to the Red-backed Shrikes

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Spotted Flycatchers have now returned

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
Only one Turkestan Shrike was seen, so most have already passed through.

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)
By way of comparison, here is a different sub-species of Turkestan that I photographed last week in the same area

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius p. karelini)
A male and female Ortolan Bunting were seen on the side of the road.

Male Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
It was great to see 3 Arabian Red Fox pups sleeping outside of their den, but safely inside the reserve. 

Arabian Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica) pup

Jahra Pools is really a great reserve and should continue to be so on condition the water supply is maintained. I believe we will get many more good breeding records and rarities before this year ends.

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