26 September 2013

Raptor Watch

Week 37, 09 September 2013 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

I have had no internet for 2-weeks and finally last night our connection was upgraded and restored. This made me realise just how dependent we are and have become on being connected 24/7. Of course, this inconvenience was not a life threatening situation, but rather very frustrating.

Nevertheless, here we are. Two weeks back on a visit to JPR, I and others photographed two juvenile Squacco Herons and subsequently they were also photographed being fed by an adult. This now constitutes the first breeding record of Squacco Heron in Kuwait, which is pretty exciting news given the favourable conditions at Jahra Pools.

Juvenile Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), 1st breeding record for Kuwait

I was at the Pools fairly early this morning to see what was about and to also check if there were any signs of the Raptor migration which traditionally starts in earnest in this week. There were a few adult Squacco Herons about, by way of comparing the plumage differences between adult and juvenile.

Adult Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Also, a number of Mauryan Grey Shrikes

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)

The Purple Swamphen family was out for a stroll along the banks of the pool.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio  porphyrio) family
Around 9am, the first Raptors were seen, numbers of 1st year Black Kites

1st year Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Suddenly there was a big eruption of Steppe Eagles that had been roosting on the banks of the pools inside the reserve - but were obviously hidden by the dense reed cover. We estimated around 80 in total, as they thermaled upwards. Unfortunately, I was a little too far away for any frame filling images - but still spectacular to see.

Migrating kettle of Steppe Eagles (Aquila nipalensis)

A number of Steppe Buzzards dropped out of the sky to have a quick drink at the pools before continuing on their way south with a favourable tail-wind.

Migrating Steppe Buzzards (Buteo b. vulpinus)

A lone Short-toed Snake Eagle was also seen in the mix of Eagles and Buzzards..
Migrating Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
We will now wait in anticipation to see if this years numbers exceed what we witnessed last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment