17 May 2014

The birds and the butterflies

Week 16, 19 April 2014 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

I'm spending a lot more time in the south at Sea City and around Khiran. This is primarily due to no access again to SAANR for reasons unknown to most (unless of course the real reasons are not being divulged) and restricted access to JPR. Access to JPR is now only during week-days and for only 3-days a week from 8 - 12; far from ideal timing for summer photography. These restrictions in a period when visiting birders are planning trips to Kuwait for spring migration. With these constraints, promoting Kuwait as a birding hotspot (which it is) is becoming a lot tougher.

Around the project, I came across a few Sykes's Wagtails, it seems most Yellow Wagtails have already moved on.

Sykes's Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)
A new butterfly for me was this Caper White

Caper White (Belenois aurota)
Moving out of the project, I explored much of the desert and coastal area to the south of Khiran village.

There weren't many spring migrants to be found in the desert area, but I did get Blue-throated Agamid, a lizard I hadn't yet recorded in this area, but one which should be more common

Blue-throated Agamid (Acanthocerus atricollis or Agama blanfordi) 

The coastal area was the most productive with many species of shorebirds sheltering on the spur and keeping out of the wind.

A few late blooming Cistanche lutea parasitic plants were still in flower

Cistanche lutea
A few Little and Lesser Crested Terns were roosting amongst the waders but took flight long before I even got close

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
I was able to get a few BIF of the larger waders like Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
And a Eurasian Oystercatcher, which was a new species for me this far south in Kuwait. They are certainly more abundant north of Kuwait City and around Sulaibikhat, Jahra Bay and Doha Spur

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
Mid-sized waders were predominantly Grey Plovers

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
And Lesser Sand Plovers were present in quite large numbers.

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
In between the mixed waders a few Terek Sandpipers were also seen.

Mixed shorebirds; Grey and Lesser Sand Plover and Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
On the coastal side, a few Ruddy Turnstone  and Sanderling were seen foraging together.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) and Sanderling (Calidris alba)
And Willow Warblers were literally found gleaning on every bush on this small spur, fattening up for the last stretch of the journey north

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting all of these blogs and pictures. I will be moving to Kuwait in August and I am an avid birder (currently living in Trinidad) and I am so happy to see that it is the birding spot that I was hoping it would be! Maybe we will run into each other!
    Keep up the writing and photography! Really enjoy it