As mentioned in the previous post, Kuwait and pretty much most of the Middle East had a low pressure system that brought heavy and intense downpours in a very short time causing floods and damage to many areas.
On the 16th, the 10th Eversmann's Redstart (a mouth-watering WP species and very tempting for a number of listers who have yet to add this scarce bird to their lists) and 1st Goldcrest for Kuwait were found at the western oasis farm of Al Abraq. Many birders made the trip out to the farm, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to relocate the birds and after that the rain came again.
To add to an already fantastic week, the 2nd Striolated Bunting was recorded in one of the oil fields in the south of Kuwait.
On the 20th, there appeared to be a break in the weather, so I decided to head out to the farm picking up Markus Craig and Bouke Atema on the way. We were at the farm very early, so early in fact that the gate was still locked - a bit of a heart stopping moment. Fortunately a farm hand came to open the gate and we were in. As often happens at this farm, birding is very quiet early in the morning and birds appear as it starts to warm up.
We walked the farm and at one stage split up, with Markus and I exploring one area where we located the Goldcrest in a feeding party of Common Chiffchaffs - just brief views were afforded before it disappeared in the canopy.
We checked another area and found a unexpected juvenile Common Cuckoo that we initially thought was a small accipiter (as it isn't supposed to be here at this time of the year)
|Juvenile Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)|
|Female Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)|
|Male Eversmann's Redstart (Phoenicurus erythronotus)|
We then got on our phones to call the birders who had missed the bird(s) on the 16th and 17th. In the meantime, we went back to the area where we had seen the Goldcrest together with Abdulrahman to search again - whilst searching Abdulrahman found a Yellow-browed Warbler. Just then, we caught a glimpse of a small bird in the canopy and lo and behold the male Goldcrest was back. Movement in the adjacent tree revealed a 2nd Goldcrest (perhaps a juvenile or a female?) - how much better can it get. This time I was able to squeeze off a few images against the light and in the darkness of a grove of tree's. We suspect this is the eastern race coatsi, the male of this race does not have the orange on the back of the crest according to Birds of Central Asia.
By now a good number of other birders had arrived, so we pointed them to where the birds were last seen.
|Male Goldcrest (Regulus regulus coatsi)|
We had 3 species of Redstart today, including this Western Black Redstart
|Western Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)|
|Trapped Hypocolius for the market or a meal?|
|Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)|
|Black-throated Thrush, BIF tracking with the superb 1DM4|
|Behind the palm and still in focus|
|Out from behind the palm and tracking continues (as long as you keep the focus point on the bird - not always easy)|
Just before leaving, I flushed Pipit landed in a Date Palm. There was a suggestion that this could be Olive-backed, but further investigation and opinions from others have suggested that this is rather the eastern race of Tree Pipit, harringtoni. Key features include heavy, almost blotch streaking, head pattern, heavy mantle streaks and distinct pale fringes to the tertials.
|Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis harringtoni)|
All in all, a day to really remember