23 May 2018

Guiding - Day 2

Week 14; 09 April 2017 - Liyah, Al Shallal Farm, Jahra and Pivot Fields

Another early morning pickup and today we headed north toward Liyah Reserve where we explored the acacia trees on the ring road around the abandoned plant picking up Wheatear, Shrike and some Lark species. We spent a lot of time with this Ménétriés’s Warbler, as there was some discussion of a possibility of Subalpine.

Ménétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)
Quite a few Mauryan Grey Shrikes were seen again

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)
There were big numbers of Emperor type Dragonflies around - clearly they timed their arrival after the big numbers of Bee-eaters had already passed through

Emperor sp

We then headed east to Al Shallal Farm and found similar species to what had been seen previously, although this female Semi-collared Flycatcher gave us the run around until we could confirm the ID

Female Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata)

On the way back to Jahra, another Eastern Imperial Eagle overhead.

Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
At Jahra Farm we got the Bank Myna, but it took some work as they are not always around the farm; unlike the Common Myna's

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Overhead we had numbers of Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
After this, back to Jahra Pools where the resident Ferruginous Duck were quite active over the pools.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
Then it was down to the beach for more sea and wader watching and this is where the now not proven Long-toed Stint that created a lot of discussion and debate was still present. In terms of other shorebirds, there were many species to keep the interest and overhead Gull-billed Terns patrolled the shoreline.

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
It was getting late in the day and I still had one more target species to find, so I had to 'drag' the Peter's away from their scopes to give us a chance to find it. I parked just inside the gate of the reserve and we walked the perimeter near the fence. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a medium sized bird drop down from a tree into the bush and knew this might be it. As I walked closer it flew out over my head and immediately I saw it was the Babbler. I probably alerted more than the two Peter's when I should Babbler overhead, but we all got onto it followed it as it headed back toward the reeds. This bird was a relief, as it can be notoriously difficult to find at Jahra Pools.

Afghan Babbler (Turdoides c. huttoni)
We had about an hour of sun left, so last stop was the western boundary fence of Pivot Fields where we had a cracking male Pallid Harrier as well as quite a few Daurian Shrikes perched on the fence.

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
Further along the fence-line, we had Eastern Black-eared Wheatear's

Female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)

Male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)
and then a number of Whinchat's suddenly made an appearance - this made for entertaining birding.

Male Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
All in all a great two days spent with the Peters who had a very successful weeks stay in Kuwait, with Peter Colston also finding Kuwait's 2nd Black-legged Kittiwake a few days later.

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