18 June 2018

Pre-Christmas birding

Week 51; 23 December 2017 - JPR

The day before Christmas Eve and our last outing of the year, so we soaked it all in. Early next week, we are headed to Paris, a trip we were all really looking forward to.

At the big tower, we watched the Squacco Herons flying back and forth

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

And also enjoyed a few Whiskered Tern's and marveled how they calculated where to hit the water taking refraction into consideration, to catch their prey

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

Also on the big pool, Tufted Ducks had arrived. Although annual in winter, they are uncommon

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

We saw quite a number of Red-spotted Bluethroats foraging at the bases of the ever-growing reeds along the road

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

Also in dense reeds and I was quite amazed that I even picked it up - a Baillon's Crake

Baillon's Crake (Zapornia pusilla)

Indian Reed Warblers were surprisingly vocal

Indian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. brunnescens)

In the open area, Daurian Shrikes were plentiful

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

This morning we had both Siberian Stonechat

Female Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus)

And European Stonechat

Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

We also found a skulking Eurasian Sparrowhawk, but this one very dark-backed which I have not seen before

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

On the way to the beach, we spent some time watching this magnificent Greater Spotted Eagle preening - a delicate exercise with that formidable beak!

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

From my other body

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) preening

Another fulvescens put in an appearance (probably the same bird seen previously) at the beach

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga fulvescens)

White-tailed Lapwing's on the beach road in the early morning winter sun

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus), one of my favourites

All to soon our survey was over and it was time to head home to prepare for our Christmas festivities (as much as they are in Kuwait).

This post also concludes the massive backlog I had for 2017 - the problem is, I now have a similar one for 2018. So, please bear with me for the first post of 2018. 

In the meantime, wishing you all who celebrate a blessed Christmas and of course a magnificent 2018.

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