29 July 2012

Sea and Desert

Week 28, 14 July 2012 - Sulaibikhat, JEO and SAANR (Click to enlarge image)

Back in Kuwait after a wonderful summer vacation in Italy and now without my family who have migrated south for winter in South Africa. I took some time to get out to see what was about in the heat of summer.

An early start to Sulaibikhat, where I found a small flock of Greater Flamingo's against Kuwait City skyline

Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) with Kuwait City backdrop
Many Greater Sand Plovers appear to stay through the summer and are found on the coast and sometimes a little inland

Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
I hadnt been to Jahra East Outfall for sometime, mainly due to all the construction that is going on with a huge development. However, the reeds along the outfall still provide good Warbler viewing for a few species that breed in the summer. I just missed the Indian Reed Warbler, which may be breeding - but did get European Reed Warbler (many in various stages of moult). By no means easy subjects, as they are very seldom static

Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
I think this may be a Caspian Reed Colour, colder and greyer overall appearance (please correct me if I am mistaken)

Possible Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)
An early Red-backed Shrike was hunting from the reeds

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
On the way to 80 the wind had picked up, but I found a small pan where Little Terns
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

and White winged Terns were feeding on a brisk wind. I did well to get these flight shots hand-holding the 600mm with a 50D that hunts when the bird moves off the center focus point in this strong wind.

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
I headed to SAANR, not expecting to see much as the wind strength increased. At Tuhla I found another Red-backed Shrike (an adult) keeping out of the wind

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
It was almost sitting next to this White-throated Robin, which was really an unexpected surprise

White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)
My first Yellow Wagtail struggling to keep its balance in the wind as it foraged along the side of the pan

Yellow Wagtail
A Greater Hoopoe Lark came down to drink and then quickly ran away for some shade and to reduce its profile from the wind and flying sand in a small scrape.

Greater Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes) cooling at the water's edge

In a scrape, reducing it's profile to escape the wind

Similar tactics were deployed by the small flock of Crested Larks, who seem more resilient to the heat and wind than some of the other species

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Also in a scrape, but closer to water, so some additional coolness in the soil

I was entertained for about 20-minutes watching a Common Greenshank catch fish, almost in the same manner as Little Egrets and Indian Reef Herons which I have not seen before. It literally ran after fish in shallow water with mouth open (a little like a Skimmer) and was very successful. I saw it catch 5 fish in the 20-minutes I watched it - not quite so easy to photograph though, as it was difficult to predict which way it would turn and run.

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) predating small fish


This was the biggest fish that I saw it catch
As I was about to leave, the local Desert Monitor slunk out of some scrub and swam across the Tuhla pool to find somewhere cooler to rest

Desert Monitor

Swimming slowly, using it's tail as propulsion

Finally I started wilting in the heat, so headed back to the a/c of my apartment - finding a Cream-coloured Courser on the way out trying to find a place to shelter from the gusting wind.

Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) looking for cover 

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to see you having fun in this heat after all :)