08 December 2018

What the fog!

Week 48; 01 December 2018 - Mutla'a Ranch, Liyah area and Jahra Farm

Neil Tovey and I had planned to explore Liyah North for Larks, following the good rains. However, we were greeted with a very heavy fog that blanketed most of Kuwait that created havoc on the roads. Isn't it amazing that irrespective of conditions, you still get those ........... who disregard everyone's safety by driving like............(add whatever words are appropriate). 

Neil and I agreed to meet at the Mutla'a turnoff, but it was slow going and quite disorientating trying to make our way there with no landmarks to be seen and even most of the road signs were not visible. Once we caught up, we thought it best to stick it out at Mutla'a Ranch, driving slowly past some of the ghostly desert camps on the way.

Desert Camp

Once at the ranch, we parked and walked - birds, mostly Robins to start, were audible, but just not visible

I can hear you!

The Eurasian Collared Doves were all quite nervous and flighty, probably unsure about this crazy weather

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

There was quite heavy dew as a result of the fog

Dripping with dew

In in places that were still wet from the previous weeks deluge, life was starting to sprout forth

New life

At 8:30, Neil called it a morning as he had other commitments, but I waited it out as the fog was starting to become less dense. Neil called me from Kuwait City saying it was clear, so I thought I would try Liyah North as the fog slowly lifted and started to clear.

I found a large flock of around 20 soggy Black-eared/Black Kites that were still on the deck. As I got closer, they flew a little and then settled back on the ground preening and trying to get their feathers dry.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Black-eared Kite (Milvus m. lineatus)

Fighting for the spoils

There was not much else to be seen in this area, so thought I would try an area west of Liyah where earlier in the week Black and Griffon Vultures were found. I did a big circuit in the desert in the general area, but best I could find was a dark form Long-legged Buzzard, which I had not seen before

Dark form Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)

I cut my losses and tried Jahra Farm - aside from White Wagtails, I had two Meadow Pipits

Skulky Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

And then started looking at the invertebrates; there appeared to be an eruption of these Hawaiian Beet Web-worm Moths

Hawaiian Beet Web-worm Moth (Spoladea recurvalis)

Plus a couple of big flies

Fly sp.

and a strange Wasp that reminded me of a Firefly with it's red/orange abdomen

Wasp sp.

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