10 June 2013

Exploring a new protected area

Week 23, 04 June 2013 - Abdulliyah Preserve (Click to enlarge image)

Biodiversity East and I had the opportunity to visit this Preserve south of Kabd in Kuwait and were kindly hosted by KOC on a tour inside the 3-million square meter fenced area.

Since the Preserve has been fenced it is immediately apparent at the difference in habitat on either side of the fence line.

Protected or Unprotected - you decide!
This Preserve is one of KOC environmental initiatives to comply with the KOC 2030 strategy and was established in January 2011. The area was fenced before a clean-up operation was initiated and to allow the indigenous flora to begin it's natural regeneration. In parallel, a few lakes with permanent water were created as water is the life blood for any reserve and additional flora was cultivated and planted to speed up the establishment of the desert habitat.

Lake 1

Lake 2
An interesting pattern in the sand, created by wind and grass

Patterns in the sand
Although Spring migration is past, we did record 14 bird species, the most predominant were Black-crowned Sparrow Larks which do breed in this Preserve.

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)

Male Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps)
A Greater Hoopoe Lark was also seen at one of the lakes and may also breed in this Preserve. I was finally able to capture it in flight, showing the dramatic white wings that are not visible while the wings are closed, similar in some respects to seeing a Squacco Heron taking off when suddenly there is all this white.

Greater Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes) 

Finally, in flight
2 pairs of Little Ringed Plovers were seen at the respective dams and their behavior certainly suggested that nests were in the vicinity, although I couldn't find them.

A few lingering migrants included Little and Temmincks Stint and a lone Yellow Wagtail. We hope to return during the Autumn migration and it will certainly be an area that could produce some interesting records in the future and I'm sure should host the elusive Dunn's Lark.

Yellow Wagtail, not sure of ssp
Earlier in the week, I was at Jahra East Outfall searching unsuccessfully for the Black Tern and Grey Phalarope rarities, however I did I photograph these 2 Dragonflies as a consolation prize, which I have not yet identified.

Unidentified Dragonfly

Unidentified Dragonfly
I also photographed this diminutive little butterfly, whose id is also unknown

Unidentified Butterfly

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