24 October 2014

A morning of challenging Wheatears

Week 38, 20 September 2014 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

Another day in the south of Kuwait that included a mixture of marine and desert habitat over the course of the day. 

I made a stop at some reed habitat near Road 278 and had a few good migrants, feeding around some of the surface water was a 1st year Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
and a Common Ringed Plover for comparison

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Hawking from the reeds a 1st year Turkestan Shrike

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides), possibly karelini

and in the desert habitat, a 1st year Northern Wheatear remained wary of me

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
and a more easily identifiable and striking male Pied Wheatear made a brief appearance.

Male Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

Whilst driving further south, a 1st year Eastern Black-eared Wheatear was seen

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)
Whilst cruising the lagoons inside the project, I found a male Little Bittern on the beach. I can only guess that it was exhausted, as this was pretty untypical habitat for this usually skulking species.

Male Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)

In another cut-off trench with reed habitat, I recorded a single Grey Heron

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
and more amazingly a female Garganey sitting very still deep inside the reeds. I'm still amazed that I managed to get onto it - but a very good record for this far south in Kuwait.

Garganey (Anas querquedula)
I then went exploring in some desert habitat and came across a good number of Wheatears. The male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear was an easy id

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)
But some of the 1st years were more difficult, this is 1st year Eastern Black-eared Wheatear

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. melanoleuca)

I am still unsure of this species, I had it pegged as a 1st year Pied, but it may also be Eastern Black-eared.

Pied or Eastern Black-eared Wheatear?

A much paler Wheatear made a brief appearance, Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
Once I had exhausted this area, I explored a little more around Khiran village adding only a 1st year Red-backed Shrike to the list of birds seen for the day.

1st year Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

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