Markus Craig and I had an early start with Neil not joining us this morning. It was around this time last year that Paddyfield Warbler was found at JEO, so that's we were headed and arrived before sun-up.
There was already a car present, which turned out to be shooters. When they returned they didn't stay long and covered their number plates when they left - they must be aware of the new Environmental Law that is now in place, which is fantastic news.
At this time of year, the Warblers are a real challenge, as a number of species will have bred in the summer, so you have a mix of juveniles, adults and possibly a few new arrivals. Peter Kennerley has kindly given his opinion on a number of birds that challenged us!
We started off confidently with an obliging Savi's Warbler
|Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)|
An easy Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrike, our firsts for the autumn
|Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor)|
|Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)|
|Adult Basra Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis)|
A Great Reed Warbler appeared low down in the reeds to come and drink - look at how the available light (or lack of sunlight) changes the colours!
|Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus )|
|Indian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. brunnescens)|
"Without seeing the upperparts it is difficult to be certain whether this is scirpaceus or fuscus. The fresh plumage confirms this to be a young bird but fuscus Reed Warbler actually has warm and cold morphs, the appearance of the warmer morph is very similar to scirpaceus Reed – warm morph fuscus (which breeds at the west of the range from central Turkey to some point to the east, probably reaches the west shore of the Caspian Sea) and is separable from scirpaceus Reed Warbler only biometrics, in particular wing length. It also has the later wing moult strategy of greyer/typical fuscus Reed and adults show whitish primary tips in spring.On this bird these features are hidden but wouldn’t apply to a young bird, so it could be either race."
|Caspian/European Reed Warbler?|
The colder tones suggest these are Caspian Reed Warblers;
|Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)|
According to Peter, this Warbler may be of interest. "this is a much warmer, juvenile Reed Warbler, probably not long out of the nest as it appears rather short tailed. Warm tones are typical of scirpaceus Reed in Europe but I’m not sure whether this applies to fuscus. However, the the Arabian Peninsula a small Reed Warbler breeds. It is currently treated as fuscus but it is smaller than scirpaceus so cannot be fuscus. Your bird may belong to this population which has yet to be named."
|A Warbler of interest.....|
As we were about to leave, a Black-winged Kite flew by overhead and down toward the sea - this was one that Markus was very happy to tick!
We first drove around the Ranch, finding Isabelline and Northern Wheatear which has now arrived together with Whinchat and a 1st year Red-spotted Bluethroat.
|Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)|
|2nd year Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor) and 12th for Kuwait|
|White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)|
|Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)|