12 November 2012

A Mega at JPR

Week 46, 07 November 2012 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

I received a call from Khaled Al Ghanem that local birder and photographer
Ouda Al-Bathali had discovered 4 Long-tailed Ducks (to still be accepted by KORC) on one of the new recently filled pools at JPR. You never know how long a vagrant will stay, so you make the necessary plans to get out there to see the bird before they disappear. Thanks to the early notification by Ouda and Khaled, most birders were able to tick these Ducks.

I arrived around mid-day along with Humoud, Abdulmoshen and Mahmoud and found 3 females and juveniles swimming and diving for food around a reed bed. What fantastic Ducks and how is it that they end up in Kuwait of all places? That we will still ponder on, but right now we spent an hour enjoying this exciting sighting.

Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)

The Long-tailed Duck is a diving Duck, here using its wings to get some depth

After all of this excitement, I explored the other pools and sat quietly waiting for birds to appear. A low pass of a Western Marsh Harrier, got some birds out of the reeds

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 
A small flock of Eurasion Coots, which I hadn't seen for some time

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 
A single winter plumage Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
and a Little Grebe

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Some movement against the far reeds caught my eye and I was delighted to see a Ferruginous Duck (9th record for Kuwait). Speaking with Khaled later, 3 of these Ducks were present earlier in the week, along with a Tufted Duck. So having the water returned has paid big dividends already for the winter Ducks

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)

The Harrier put up another flock of Ducks that had one Common Pochard and the rest Eurasian Teal

Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) with one Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Wader numbers had diminished, but I did pick up Common Greenshank

Common Greenshank (Tringa totanus)

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
and a Wood Sandpiper keeping an eye on the Marsh Harrier overhead

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
All in all a fantastic 2-hours at JPR with a mega and a rarity to top it off.

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