17 May 2016

Building, filtering and striding

Week 17 and 18, 16 - 24 April 2016 - Various Sites

My father-in-law came to stay with us for a month in April and also to celebrate his 80th birthday with the family.

There was not too many new places to show him in Kuwait, as he has visited every year since we first arrived.

One morning, we visited Green Island as it is a pleasant walk and also offers great views of the iconic Kuwait Towers. Surprisingly very few migrants present, but the male Rüppell's Weaver was very busy nest building.

Male Rüppell's Weaver (Ploceus galbula)
The following weekend, we strolled around the new Al Shaheed Park, which is a very pleasant green belt with some quirky art in the park, situated on the outskirts of Kuwait City. 

Getting in early is the trick, to avoid the heat and when fewer visitors are present. Most of the usual urban birds are present; predominantly House Sparrows, Eurasian Collared Doves and numbers of White-eared Bulbul's. 

White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus l. leucotis)
Again, surprisingly few migrants during our walk, other than a surprise Little Bittern in the reeds at one of the water features

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)
In terms of invertebrates, a few Dragonflies

Dragonfly sp.

Same sp. as above
as well as Water Strider's on the ponds. Water Strider's are in the family Gerridae (order Heteroptera) and number around 350 species, so not sure which species occurs in Kuwait

Water Strider sp.

On the last weekend, we had an hour at Jahra Pools Reserve, before visiting the Red Fort. 

At one of the pools a drake Garganey was foraging/filtering along the water edge, behaviour I have not seen from Garganey before (I suspect this bird was injured, as it was still present a few weeks later). I photographed this with Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5 - 5.6 IS II and EF 1.4x III coupled to the 1DM4 and was pretty happy with the result, although the focus acquisition and speed would be faster on the 1Dx

Drake Garganey (Anas querquedula)
In the same pool there were numbers of Wood Sandpiper, in fact these were the most predominant waders today

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
and a single Red-necked Phalarope skulked in some cover

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
Driving around the reserve, we picked up a possible Turkestan Shrike in the Phragmite reeds 

Turkestan Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)
and finally a Temminck’s Stint before running out of time and heading the the Red Fort before the sun set

Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii)


  1. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  2. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)