02 June 2013

Who turned up the heat?

Week 22, 29 May 2013 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

From Spring to Summer in little more than a week as temps now soar above 40 degrees and pretty much signify the end of Spring migration.

I spent a few hours at JPR, but even arriving at 7am the sun is already pretty high in the sky. The rising temps combined with evaporation and heat haze is not conducive to good images with big glass, guess I have to get up earlier to avoid that.

Nevertheless, it was still an interesting morning as a good number of species are either sitting on nests, feeding young or have grown broods due to the favourable conditions at JPR for the past few months. I must say it was a little distressing to see that water supply had been disrupted due to maintenance as a few of the shallower pools were drying up at this critical time, but hopefully it will be restored this week.

There were good numbers of Black-winged Stilts and around 5 birds were seen sitting on eggs

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

One of the many Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) on eggs

I was surprised at the number of Little Grebes with young of various ages, it seems that they have had a very successful season

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) with one of her brood
I also came across the female Ferruginous Duck with 2 of her grown-up ducklings in less than ideal lighting

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) with one of her grown duckling

Juvenile Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
A single juvenile White-tailed Lapwing was seen amongst a few of the remaining waders. This species has bred previously at JPR, not sure where they bred this season.

Juvenile White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)
Lastly, I saw a pair of Little Ringed Plovers courting and this bodes well for this species breeding at JPR this summer. They did nest last year during the road upgrade, but the construction probably disrupted their ability to hatch the eggs. Hopefully this year they will be successful.

Male Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) observed courting

Female Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
A Little Tern hawking over one of the pools was an unexpected surprise

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)
As was a single Terek Sandpiper, certainly the first time I have seen this species in the reserve - they are normally associated with coastal habitat in Kuwait

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
Many Graceful Prinia's were seen around the reed bed edges and should also have a successful breeding year

Singing Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
I have seen a pair of Namaqua Doves in the reserve on the last few visits, so hopefully they will make this their 'patch'

Female Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)
A single Woodchat Shrike was seen, as was a Daurian and Red-backed and these were literally the only migrant stragglers left in the reserve

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
This thorny fruiting bush (Nitraria retusa) was a magnet for many migrants a few weeks back, however some of the resident birds are still enjoying the left overs. 

Nitraria retusa - a magnet for fruit eating migrants

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