18 October 2014

Migrant passerines in the South

Week 36, 06 September 2014 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

I have been a bit slack in keeping my Blog updated, so a bit of a belated post from September

I was down in the south of the country at the Sea City development near Khiran.

I spent time on the lagoon waterways and exploring some of the redeveloped habitat; not many shorebirds along the beaches, but that was probably due to the increased pedestrian traffic on the beaches.

However, I did get onto a few of the larger shorebirds when a flock of 8 Black-crowned Night Herons dropped in. This was the first time I had seen this species in the south.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
A little later, 4 Purple Herons flew by overhead.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
In some reed habitat near Road 278, I found a single Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

A  few Western Yellow Wagtails

Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava), probably beema
and two Greater Short-toed Larks

Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)
Around the development there were a few other passerine migrants to be found in singles and two's. This female Caspian Stonechat (note the plain uppertail coverts) is the first one I have seen this autumn migration anywhere in Kuwait.

Female Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)
A couple of Common Whitethroat's

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
A single Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) with a snack
and a few skittish Ortolan Buntings, a bird heavily persecuted in Europe before it even starts on it's migration journey

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
I had 3 Golden Orioles, but as with other locations they disappeared long before I could get close. Given some of the horrific images I have seen on Social Media of the number of Golden Orioles shot and killed during migration, I am happy to see them fly away long before I can get close.

On my way home from the south, I recorded a Northern Wheatear in the shade of a tree on Road 278.

Male Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

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