08 December 2015

Early Winter Visitors have arrived

Week 43, 24 October 2015 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

I was back in the south of Kuwait and enjoyed my Mac breakfast just after sunrise.

I almost dropped my coffee as a Short-eared Owl flew in front of my car and only managed a quick 'grab' shot as it dropped behind some Sabkha against the sun. Unfortunately, it only stayed a minute before it was off again, so I didnt have any chance to get any closer. A great record for the south..

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
The first winter visitors have arrived; White Wagtail amongst a few Yellows

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
And Water Pipit

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
A resident pale form Western Reef Heron was foraging in some shallow ground water

Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
A single female Pied Wheatear was seen briefly

Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)
A Mallard was unexpected this far south

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
From the boat, a few Lesser Crested Terns were still present, but the bulk appears to have departed

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
I came across a few Gulls that appeared to have their bills taped shut - so their lives were cut short, as they would slowly starve to death. Apparently, this is done by falconers who use Gulls as prey when training their Falcons. The Gull's bills are taped shut, so as not to let the Gulls bite and peck the Falcons and cause any injury - never mind the misery and eventual death that will come to the Gulls. Very disappointing and sad!

Destined to die

And this Gull
This Heuglin's was more fortunate and had everything in tact

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)
Not sure what species this young Gull is?

Gull sp.
Back on terra firma, more Wheatear species; again Isabelline

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
and Desert

Male Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
Along with the first Asian Desert Warblers of this autumn

Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)
As well as my first Tawny Pipits of this passage

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) keeping out of the sun
The bulk of the Bee-eaters have already passed through, but there are still a few late Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters about..

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)

Lastly, I noted some Asian Grass Blues enjoying a particular desert plant whose name I don't know.

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra karsandra)

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