We enjoyed and survived the festive season and a here's to a prosperous new year to us all.
Neil Tovey and I were guiding a keen Australian birder Jono Henshaw who was passing through Kuwait on route to Sweden.
It was an early pick-up as we had decided to first head west to Al Abraq to be at the farm just after sun-up. On route from the city to the farm, the temperature dropped 6 degree's, so we had a much colder than planned start. We picked up 2 Steppe Eagles that had roosted on the deck overnight. Once at the farm, we elected to walk first, but unfortunately not too much about - disappointing in fact, considering how the year ended off with many good birds found at the farm. Nevertheless, we did find the Hume's Leaf Warbler and a small Flycatcher that was more likely to be Taiga than Red-breasted at this time of year - unfortunately, it was Red-breasted (see poor record shot below).
|Poor image of Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), enough to show it isn't Taiga|
|Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)|
|Goldcrest (Regulus regulus coatis)|
|Male Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)|
|Female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)|
|Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)|
|Female Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)|
|Male Byzantine Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus) showing it's distinctive tail pattern|
|Male Byzantine Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus)|
|Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)|
|The impressive talon's of a Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)|
In one area, we found around 10 Jack Snipes and I was able to catch-on in flight as it whizzed past - no mean feat with a heavy piece of glass - again a testament to the 1DM4 AI Server and good follow focus technique!
|Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus) at speed|
|Departing Western Great Egret (Ardea alba)|
|Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)|
|White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) in breeding plumage|
|Flock of Mallard's (Anas platyrhynchos)|
|False Alarm - Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)|
|Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)|