16 August 2016

A Mega Day

Week 30, 30 July 2016 - Mutla'a Ranch and Jahra Pools

It was a year ago today that Neil and I found Kuwait's first Sabine's Gull, so we decided we had to go out today and see if we could find something special in the mid-summer heat.

Neil went direct to Jahra Pools, whilst I said I would check out Mutla'a Ranch at first light. No Barn Owl and other than one or two migrants, just the usual resident suspects; Crested Lark

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
and Namaqua Dove

Female Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)
So, back down the ridge to Jahra Pools to check the birds on the high tide line with Neil. Whilst driving through the reserve, I had my first Red-throated Bluethroat of the autumn. I was just lining up the photograph, when my phone rang - it was Neil, get here quick I have a possible Arctic Tern in my scope!

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia s. svecica)
I wasn't far away, so within 5-minutes I was checking the roosting Tern through the scope and it certainly had all the attributes of Arctic, plus Neil had also seen it flying. This will be the 7th record for Kuwait, if accepted by KORC. The bird was a long way off and with the heat haze coming off the sand, even a record image was tough. But I managed a few images to add to the Rarity Form.

7th Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) for Kuwait - pending KORC acceptance

While standing chatting, we talked again about Black Tern and sure enough we picked up one a little further away than where the Arctic Tern was roosting - this the 16th record for Kuwait..

16th Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
In the same area, but feeding on the banks was the Western White Stork that was still present.

Western White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
In amongst the waders on the shoreline were a few Lesser Sand Plovers in breeding plumage. Again heat haze played havoc with image quality...

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
Shortly after this Neil had to reluctantly leave. I saw that there were quite a few Terns (including the Black) feeding over the outfall in the reserve, so I headed there in my car where I also had slightly better light. In fact, I photographed all 3 Marsh Tern species feeding over the outfall which was a real win!

1. Black Tern

16th Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

2. Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

3. White-winged Tern

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)

Today again proved that even in adverse weather (in terms of mid-summer temperatures), good birds can be found if you are prepared to get out and sweat it out in the mid-day heat (it topped out at 50 degrees today!)

1 comment:

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