14 May 2013

Mission accomplished

Week 20, 13 May 2013 - Entertainment City and JPR (Click to enlarge image)

I was on a mission today to find and photograph two species. The first eluded me last week, yes I know it is only a Cat E species, but I still needed it for my Kuwait list (after 7-years).

We awoke to a morning of haze/dust so I didnt expect to have a productive morning, nevertheless I headed off to the new area near Entertainment City in search of Indian Silverbill. No luck with the first sweep of the area, so I was content to photograph of few of the remaining passerine migrants, as most have already moved on. Sitting quietly at a small pool of water I had Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)
Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
A few Skyke's Wagtails

Sykes Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)
and Whinchat

Female Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
I had just started my 2nd loop when a flash of movement caught my eye under an Acacia type tree; sitting very still was this agamid. Thanks to all who provided a consistent opinion on the ID of this Agama.

Blue-throated Agama (Agama blandfordi)

Carrying on with the drive, I spotted a small bird sitting on a fence and from the profile knew it was the Silverbill. Unfortunately it disappeared soon after I got my bins on it. So, they were somewhere in the vicinity; time to get out the car and explore more slowly and carefully. I was alerted by their call and found a small flock of 10 feeding on a patch of grass with seed-heads and managed to get relatively close to them whilst they were feeding.The habitat is more than favourable for breeding, so now that we know where they are we can monitor to see if the flock slowly grows in size. They really do have quite large bills for their diminutive size

Indian Silverbills (Lonchura malabarica)

Massive bill on this diminutive seed-eater
First objective achieved, time to move to Jahra Pools where Eurasian Coot had been seen with young a few days back. According to Gregory 'Birds of the State of Kuwait' there is only 1 confirmed breeding record from JPR in 1996, so this is the second record for JPR and the birds and young were first seen and photographed on 09 May 2013.

The first loop of the reserve showed that wader numbers are reducing, although the Red-necked Phalarope flock seems to be growing with 81 birds seen today. A few Red-backed Shrikes still remain, but only a handful were seen compared to the big numbers over a week ago

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
The Black-winged Stilt is still sitting tight on eggs

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) on eggs
and another batch of 2 Kentish Plovers chicks were seen on the edge of one pool

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) chick
Finally I got distant views of a Eurasian Coot pair with 4 chicks, but in a different pool to the parents seen earlier this week. Checking another pool, I finally found the original pair with their 4 chicks - so two pairs with 4 chicks each (so far!) I must say, the chicks have a face that only a mother could love - but still an exciting record for Jahra Pools Reserve

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) with chicks, 2nd confirmed breeding record for JPR

Mission accomplished!

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