At the end of 2015, my resolution was not not fall back into a processing and posting backlog - well here we are in March, and I have done exactly that!
In late October, I had the pleasure of guiding Matthew Binn for 2-days and this was guiding with a difference. Matthew's brief was to get great photographs of as many new species as possible, over the 2-days.
Unfortunately, the weather for the first day was inclement and cloudy to start when we arrived at the Sulaibikhat, to check out the Gulls feeding in and around the outfall. There were masses of Common Black-headed Gulls, interspersed with lesser numbers of Slender-billed and a few large white-headed Gulls. Some of which were quite challenging to ID....
|Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)|
|For comparative purposes, a Common Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in an almost identical pose|
|Foraging Common Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)|
|I suspect this brute is a possible Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)|
|I'm unsure of the ID of this pale-eyed Gull with light grey upperparts|
Above the foraging Gulls, there were a few Tern species in non-breeding plumage - Whiskered
|Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)|
|White-cheeked Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)|
Matthew got on to a number of new species, the first was a female Ménétriés’s Warbler that provided a photographic challenge in the low light, as it popped in and out of a shrub it was foraging in.
|Female Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)|
|Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)|
|Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)|
|Probable female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)|
|Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)|
Before lunch, we had a few Black-eared Kites fly up from one of the pools where they had landed to drink
|Black-eared Kite (Milvus m. lineatus)|
We had a lunch break and a quick stop at Jahra Farms where we got onto a few more new species; a Red-spotted Bluethroat that Matthew enjoyed and a pair of Eurasian Blackcap's
|Female Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)|
|Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)|
|A distant Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciatus)|
|Male Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)|
|Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)|
During October, we had somewhat of a Pied Kingfisher eruption - not just in Kuwait, but seemingly across the Region. We found a spot in the reserve, where there must have been over 10 birds sitting on the causeway bridge, waiting for the right opportunity to dive onto a unsuspecting fish. I must say, their success rate was pretty good and we enjoyed a good 30-minutes enjoying their antics.
|A clique of Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle rudis)|
|Female Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle rudis)|
|Male Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle rudis)|
|Successful catch - now to beat it to death....|
The last bird of the day in the fading light was a good one; pity we had to push the ISO to get a half decent image of a White-tailed Lapwing
|White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)|