25 August 2015

Sweating and wilting in the South

Week 29, 18 July 2015 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

The summer temps show no signs of relenting, nevertheless I headed south to the Sea City Project and as expected, birds were generally scarce and the few that I did see were mostly sheltering in any shade that they could find. It is quite amazing how the shorebirds tolerate the incredible heat especially being so close to the ground.

I was dismayed to see that Common Myna appears to have expanded its distribution in Kuwait southward. I sincerely hope that there numbers don't explode

An unwanted species in the south, Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Many of the other resident birds just sat quietly in the shade, trying to regulate their body temperatures

Male House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Others looked for water, wherever there might have been some

Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) - I see one drop of water

White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus l. leucotis), one drop at a time
An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was sitting very quietly and unobtrusively in the shade a small palm tree

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida)

Walking through some desert habitat, I flushed this small lizard that I have identified as Short-nosed Desert Lizard (thanks to Abdulrahman for confirming it's ID)

Short-nosed Desert Lizard (Mesalina brevirostris)
Finally I made it to the coast, where a little humidity made it even more uncomfortable. A single Socotra Cormorant was roosting on the beach, but dived into the water when I arrived

1st Year Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
Eurasian Curlew flew by overhead

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Followed by a moulting Grey Plover

Moulting Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
And an adult White-cheeked Tern with a 'begging' juvenile in close pursuit

Adult White-cheeked Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
On the beach, Sand Plovers were in mixed flocks with Kentish Plovers

Kentish (Charadrius alexandrinus) and Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
And in the lagoon a pale and dark morph Western Reef Heron that provided a nice comparison

Side by side; pale and dark morph Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
By now, I was starting to feel like I needed to regulate my own temperature, so retreated back to the AC of the car and cold water in the cooler box. A must to stay hydrated in such harsh and draining conditions.

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