27 January 2013

Gulls and Cormorants at Sea City

Week 04, 23 January 2013 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

It was a perfect windless day when I visited the Sea City project last week. This time I had the opportunity to go from Phase A1 to Phase A2, which meant an off-shore traverse on an absolutely flat sea.

As before, there were large numbers of Great Cormorants roosting on the lagoon beaches and feeding in big flocks on the lagoons.

Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Venturing off-shore, I again found a single Socotra Cormorant roosting on the buoy which means that at least for this year this species over-wintered in Kuwait.

Wintering Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
An exposed low tide sand bank (which took some careful navigation to get close to) produced a variety of Gulls; Slender-billed, a single Black-headed Gull, Caspian and Heuglins Gull

Heuglins Gull (Larus f. heuglini)
Of more interest though were the 4 Great Black-headed Gulls, 2 of which were in adult plumage

Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
On my return to land I explored some of the desert areas within the project, finding Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
This large green locust, the likes of which I have seen been caught and eaten by a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Many Painted Lady butterflies enjoying the winter flowers following the recent rains.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
I noted a few of these butterflies that were a lot darker than the majority of others seen - not sure if this means that they are recently hatched? What say the entomologists out there?
Trying to show the difference between 'normal' on LHS and darker individual on RHS
A Libyan Jird was seen foraging in the shade of an Acacia Tree

Libyan Jird (Meriones libycus)
On the way back to the 30 Expressway, a couple of Isabelline Wheatear's were seen foraging in the desert, this particular one was singing it's heart out on the pylon

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
As mentioned earlier, we had above average winter rainfall this year and this has resulted in an explosion of colour with yellow and purple desert flowers (I need to learn the names of these)

Winter flowers explode in the desert

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    Allow me to invite you to some festival; the cultural festival in Kuwait University. Tonight was the opening ceremony and it will last till Tuesday January 29th. My photography group is participating in the photography and visual art section. It is open daily from 9-1 pm then from 5-8 pm. In case you'd like to pay a visit you can reply back to me and I will send you my phone number.
    Good luck! :)