02 January 2012

2011 - It is not over, until it is over

Week 52 - 30 November 2011, Jahra Pools, SAANR and Pivot Fields

On the 29th (a working day) 9 Red-crested Pochard were found by Bouda at Jahra Pools. The family 'granted' me a pass on the New Years weekend, so at 6:45am I was at the reserve gates with the temperature reading 5 degrees, so it was fresh.

As it was still to early, there was no sign of any life at all on the pool, but as the sun slowly rose birds started appearing.

I was quite surprised to see a large flock of Greater Flamingo fly in, normally these birds are only seen here in one's and two's

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

A Eurasian Sparrowhawk also made a brief appearance

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Finally a flock of ducks was seen at the far end of the pools and these were identified as the flock of 9 Red-crested Pochards, really smart looking ducks. I put the 1.4 extender onto the beast, but they never came close enough for frame filling images. The early morning and distance over water is far from ideal for an extender too, so image quality was a little disappointing for a bird that deserves more. Nevertheless, a great tick for the year.

Male Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

Male and female Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

I thought I would try for the Common Cranes at SAANR, but alas had no luck finding them. However, on the way home I received a call from Pekka who had found a single Dotterel at Pivot Fields, so I was able to make the detour to see,  but not photograph the bird.

From a birding perspective, a very rewarding last week of 2011 with 3 new species added to my Kuwait list

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