23 December 2012

'Twas the day before Christmas

Week 52, 23 December 2012 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

The day dawned with clear skies and not a breathe of wind; so perfect to get out for some birding and photography and Jahra Pools was the place to head to.

The Brown-necked Raven was still present at the top end of Gulf Road and talking to Rashed later in the morning, he said this bird has been seen in this location in years past, quite curious!

Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis)
Jahra Pools felt like a spring morning, Red-Spotted Bluethroat numbers have increased.

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
The Afghan Babbler was seen by one of the birders and Water Rails were seen foraging in the shallow water around the reed bases. I also saw two Little Crakes creeping around the shallows

Little Crake (Porzana parva)
Greater Flamingo's were still present in the west pool, but decided to depart just as I arrived, here a 1cy Flamingo at full stretch

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
In the same area, the male Caspian Stonechat was seen on the fence; try as I could to get a flight shot to show it's distinctive Wheatear patterned tail, this was the only poor image I could get

Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus)

I have seen Daurian Shrikes on every visit to JPR this month

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
Sand Martin numbers had also swelled and outnumbered the Barn Swallows. A single Red-rumped Swallow was quite a surprise as it came in low to grab a drink

Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)
Pallid Swifts were overhead as it slowly warmed up

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
A Black-eared Kite, the Asian race of Black Kite, drifted in and landed on one of the dead trees in the pool, probably for a drink a little later

Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus)
The regal Great Crested Tern paddled by pretty close, here a few creative images of tranquility, serenity and symmetry after it had ruffled it's feathers.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Two Tufted Duck were still present, amongst the Coot, Moorhen, Little and Black-crested Grebes

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
As it 'Twas the day before Christmas, it is fitting to end of this post with this unlikely winter visitor, a European Robin that isn't sitting on a Christmas Tree in the snow, but rather some phragmite reeds in the desert of Kuwait. 

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Wishing you all the very best this festive season..

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