21 November 2012

Welcome Rain

Week 47, 14 November 2012 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

I had some welcome rain on an overcast day on the drive down south to Sea City and it continued intermittently during the morning and we loved it. Obviously not great for photography, but that was not a issue.

Heading out to the sea a few birds were hunkered down

At this time of year, the moulting large white-headed Gulls arrive in Kuwait for the winter and still provide an id challenge.

I suspect this to be a Heuglin's Gull

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f/h. heuglini)
A probable Caspian Gull

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
I found Greater Sand Plover foraging on the shoreline

Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
Together with a single and much smaller Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
We always check the buoys just off shore and today a Socotra was roosting with the Great Cormorants which have now arrived in numbers for the winter. As my records go, this is a very late sighting for Socotra Cormorant which should have already headed back south. In fact, there were 2 Socotra's present this morning.

Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) with a late departing Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
Exploring other lagoons, we found many more Gulls - mostly a combination of Armenian and Caspian Gulls

Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus)

Mixed flock of Armenian and Caspian Gulls

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
On the way back, the light had improved marginally and only the Socotra's were still on the buoy

Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)

However, I found the Great Cormorants resting on the water on one of the lagoons. Here a flight sequence of it taking off

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Once I left the boat, I explored some desert habitat near Khiran Resort and added Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin and a Red-spotted Bluethroat which popped out from behind some scrub.

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
Also seen were; a distant Asian Desert Warbler feeding on insects hiding in this small plant

Spot the Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)

Eastern Mourning Wheatear

Eastern Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens)
and Desert Wheatear on the pylons heading back to highway 30

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
A few days later (17th) we were back at Khiran, this time with my family in glorious weather. We explored some of the islands finding a large unidentified Dragonfly

Unidentified Dragonfly
Many Crabs, this one is Macropthalmus depressus and appears to have camouflaged itself very well

Macropthalmus depressus
Same Snails on an exposed low tide rock

A quick trip off-shore gave a flock of Caspian Gulls roosting on the water

Caspian Gulls ( Larus cachinnans)
and this time 3 Socotra's on the buoy and it was noted that their juvenile plumage is now slowly darkening

Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
The rest of the morning was spent enjoying time on the beach, which the kids enjoyed

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