06 November 2016

An record pod of Pelicans

Week 37, 10 September 2016 - JPR

Yesterday, a large flock of Great White Pelicans were seen soaring over Jahra Pools Reserve. It was estimated that there were around 68 birds. The last time a flock this size was seen in Kuwait, was when 100 birds were seen in April 1922 - so this was a significant record!

I was at the reserve gate when it opened and drove down to the seaside where around 37 birds has roosted overnight on the beach. Along with a number of local birders we enjoyed these impressive birds that were quite some distance away on the low tide, for quite some time. This was also a Kuwait tick for me, so this made the early start a little more special!

Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) panorama

 Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) panorama
On the way in, I did stop for a Grey Heron in the reeds

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) portrait
And a White-tailed Lapwing in a roadside pool

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)
When it warmed up, the flock took off and we thought that they would find a thermal and be off, but to our surprise they flew into the reserve, landing in one of the bigger pools where they preened and fished for another hour. 

Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

The remind me of an A380 when they take off and soar - power and elegance!

Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

There were a few Slender-billed Gulls in the same pool and they were completely dwarfed by the Pelicans

Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)
After I had soaked it all up, I had a quick drive around the reserve and added a few more shorebirds/waders to the days count; European Black-tailed Godwit is always a good wader to see

European Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa l. limosa)
A few Green Sandpipers had arrived

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

As well as Little Ringed Plover

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
There are quite a few Black-crowned Night Herons at the Reserve the past few visits

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
A Mauryan Grey Shrike was on the boundary fence

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahtora pallidirostris)
And an early Sykes's Wagtail was seen along the reedbed

Sykes's Wagtail (Motacilla f. beema)
Overall, quite a satisfying morning enjoying these great birds


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