28 September 2018

Last days of Ramadan

Week 25; 23 June 2018 - Jahra Pools Reserve

I was at the gates of the reserve by 6am for a couple of hours before it became too unpleasant to be out.

Birding was pretty good and again migrant species were present. It shows that you need to keep checking the various sites, irrespective of the season, as there is always something to be seen. At this time of year, birding is done from the car - windows open and AC on high. 

In the reeds, I found Caspian Reed Warbler which breed at JPR through the summer

Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)

Also, a Western Yellow Wagtail either a 1st year bird or non-breeding adult?

Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla f. flava)

Followed by a Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

The Continental Great Cormorant was still present in the big pool

Continental Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis)

Driving on the road to the beach, juvenile Black-winged Stilt were in the shallow pools on the side of the road

Juvenile Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

As was Little Ringed Plover which also breed in the reserve in summer

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

The Spur-winged Plover was still present, but still quite skittish. The spurs are visible in these flight images

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)

I found the long-staying Little Gull, this time pretty close by.

Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)

Overhead I had a single Black-winged Pratincole

Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni)

There wasn't much to be seen at the coast, so I called it a day and headed back toward the gate, only to find a Black-winged Kite hovering high over the reeds and dropping down rapidly into the reeds where it successfully nailed it's prey. This species is now considered an annual visitor to Kuwait

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus)

Father's Day

Week 25; 17 June 2018 - Jahra Pools Reserve

We had a holiday for Eid that coincided with Father's Day, so Neil Tovey and I were out for a few hours at JPR and missing having Markus with us.

Mid-summer, not much is expected and you have to start early as heat haze and quickly rising temps don't give much time to be out and conditions are poor for photography. 

We were pleasantly surprised with the number of migrant species we encountered; a lone European Black-tailed Godwit

European Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa l. limosa)

A really early/late or over-summering Common Black-headed Gull

Common Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

The Little Gull is also still present, but was pretty distant today

Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)

Coming back up the road from the beach, a Citrine Wagtail was flushed from where it was feeding and sat briefly on the top of a sabkha bush

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

In the same area, we found the Spur-winged Lapwing seen on the previous visit.

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)

A juvenile White-tailed Lapwing from this year's brood was trying to keep cool in one of the smaller pools.

Juvenile White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)

A Black-crowned Night Heron was disturbed somewhere and passed by overhead. This species has also bred in JPR this summer

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Daddy Fox was out getting breakfast, much to the disgust of the Black-winged Stilt's who lost one of their youngsters - the circle of life continues relentlessly

Arabian Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica)

Au revoir

Week 24; 16 June 2018 - Jahra Pools Reserve

This was my last outing with our friend Markus Craig, as he leaves Kuwait tonight for their next posting. So, we headed to Jahra Pools where we also met up with Omar Al Shaheen.

We had a slow drive around JPR finding and enjoying a 1st year Short-toed Snake Eagle - those eyes!

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

A couple of Collared Pratincole. Interesting how they throw their head up in flight occasionally..

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

And an unexpected Spur-winged Plover.

Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus)

At the beach, we found the long staying Little Gull and a bonus Arctic Tern for Markus (8th record for Kuwait). 

All to soon, it was time to say farewell and look forward to catching up again soon, somewhere in the world!

Invertebrates and a few birds

Week 22; 02 June 2018 - Al Abraq

We had some heavy humidity in Kuwait, so instead of birding along the coast, I headed to the west and Al Abraq, but with low expectations from a bird perspective and I wasn't disappointed.

Mostly resident species, but overhead I did have Sand Martin

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

And very late Common Swift (or perhaps pekanensis?) - interesting with the feet 'dangling' below the body; perhaps for cooling in the oppressive heat? 

Common Swift (Apus apus)

I found a pair of Spanish Sparrows gathering nest material - these are generally winter visitors, so perhaps a pair has remained and will nest together with the House Sparrows.

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

As I did last week, I then walked around looking for invertebrates. There was a fair variety of butterflies; Asian Grass Blue

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra)

Mediterranean Pierrot

Mediterranean Pierrot (Tarucus rosaceus)

Painted Lady

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Salmon Arab

Salmon Arab (Madais fausta)

And Plain Tiger

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)

A couple of Dragonfly species, including a new species for me; Bladetail

Bladetail (Lindenia tetraphylla)

Plus a couple of Emperor's - probably Vagrant (green eyes)

Vagrant Emperor (Hemianax ephippiger)

As well as some Darter types

Darter sp

Darter sp.

I found two species of Grasshopper/Locust

Grasshopper sp

Locust sp.

And a delicate flowering plant with really spiky thorns

Desert plant sp.

I finished off with some images of the dwellings around the farm before heading home as the temps are now heading through the roof

Abraq dwellings