12 August 2017

Post op birding

Week 07, 15 February 2017 - Jahra and Sulaibiya

I had been incapacitated for sometime with a detached retina for which I had to have surgery and a fairly long face-down recovery time. After I had been given the all clear to keep my head-up, I had to get out to 'test' out the vision in the affected eye (which obviously will never be as it was before).

I started with a slow walk around Jahra Farm finding Bank Myna

Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)
A numbers of White Wagtail in the fields

1st year White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) - check the all black cap

Adult White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
From there it was across the freeway to Jahra Pools where the winter light was quite sweet which allowed for some backlit creativity with some birds in the reeds. This is a probable Siberian Chiffchaff (thanks Yoav). Note the grey-brown on the crown, nape and mantle and the buff supercilium

Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus c. tristis)
A Common Kingfisher was sitting quietly on top of a reed with an interesting shape

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Whilst this Common Snipe was reflected perfectly in a still pool

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
The female Eurasian Sparrowhawk was still in the same area where I saw here in January

Female Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
I found a splendid male Desert Wheatear on the sabkha near the beach

Male Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
Caucasian Water Pipits were aplenty around the pools, this one starting to transition into breeding plumage

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)
A Siberian/Byzantine/South Caspian Stonechat (I'm not sure which is the correct name anymore) was seen around the reeds and in the drier part of the reserve
Female Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus)

Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
Which is where this smart Daurian Shrike was seen

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

A Richards Pipit had been seen a few days back from the western boundary of the Sulaibiya Farm, so I headed there as my last stop on the way home. Unfortunately the weather also took a turn, so by the time I made it to the site it was overcast and drizzling. Driving on the outside of the fence, I had Steppe Buzzard on the pivots

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)
And then finally I found the Richards Pipit quite near the fence, which allowed a few record images at a pretty high ISO. This is a good bird for Kuwait, as it is recorded quite infrequently.

Richards Pipit (Anthus richardi)

I didn't want to put anymore unnecessary strain on my eye, so this was a good bird to call it a day

Winter light

Week 02, 14 January 2017 - Jahra Pools Reserve

Well, it's the start of a new year and the french physician and astrologer Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus) had a few interesting prophecies for 2017 that are obviously open to interpretation.
1. Floods and drought
2. Thunder and conflict
3. A battle at sunset
4. A little break
5. A royal scandal
6. A weird version of Animal Farm
7. A weakened West
To read more about these, which he wrote in four-line verses - check the URL and see if any strike a chord; 

On route to the Pools, I made a stop to check a site where Hypocolius have been seen early in the morning and I wasn't disappointed. There was quite a large vocal flock that were sitting high in the trees waiting for the winter sun's rays to hit the tops of the trees.

Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

Female Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

Male Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

After enjoying these great birds for around 20-minutes I continued on my way. The Pools were relatively quiet this morning, Common Pochard were still present on the main pool with quite a few drake birds present

Drake Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
As well as the Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Walking on water....
A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk was seen over the reeds

Female Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
And later displayed some territorial behaviour my mobbing a Western Marsh Harrier repeatedly after which the Harrier decided to go an hunt elsewhere in the reserve - it was an interesting display to watch

Mid-air interaction between 2 females - Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

As there was not much more about, it was a short outing to get the 2017 list kick-started