03 August 2015

Urban and Coastal Birding

Week 16, 18 April 2015 - Green Island and Souk Sharq

Following a day in the desert, today I took to a few urban locations on Gulf Road which runs parallel to the Arabian Gulf.

First stop was Green Island, where it is usually a pleasant walk if you get there early and before the picnic crowds arrive. The grassy areas and mixed habitat are often good for migrants and so it was this morning.

An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler greeted me quite near the entrance gate

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida)
Followed by a female Northern Wheatear on one of the higher terraces.

Female Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
A pair of Common Rock Thrush provided some entertainment, but took sometime for them to relax a little in my presence

Female Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)

Male Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)

A couple of European Bee-eaters were hawking from one of the taller Eucalyptus trees

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Whilst a single Ortolan Bunting was seen near the inland pool

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
Red-vented and White-eared Bulbul's are common at this location

White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus l. leucotis)
Moving further north up Gulf Road, I found White-vented Myna (a Cat E species) near Kuwait Towers. This species appears to have kept a low profile over the years, but I have also noticed that their numbers have increased during this time - possibly time to re-assess them, as they seem to be pretty established.

White-vented Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)

Yellow-headed Wagtails were also foraging on the grass verges of Gulf Road.

Yellow-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. lutea)
Last stop was at Souk Sharq where there is a pleasant walk from the fishing harbour to the pier. Along here, there were mixed Gulls and Terns feeding on large shoals of small fish being pushed against the breakwater. Lesser Crested Terns made up the bulk

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)

Followed by squabbling Slender-billed Gulls

Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)
and a couple of Little Terns on the fringes

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)
Even a Socotra Cormorant got in on the action, often snatching fish from below the masses of Gulls and Terns

1st year Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) 
All in all an entertaining end to a pleasant morning out

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