23 October 2018

A little beauty over the ridge

Week 38; 22 September 2018 - Al Shallal Farm and Jahra Pools Reserve

An early start for Paul Scott and I as we headed north and then east to Al Shallal Farm. 

On the way, we stopped to enjoy a stunning sunrise at the top of Kuwait Bay and the Arabian Gulf

Khuwaisat sunrise

We had a quick detour to Khuwaisat, but only had a passing Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

So, proceeded eastward to Al Shallal Farm. This is a small farm and is good for walking slowly around the perimeter whilst also checking some of the small fields which is what we did. We found an area that had some surface water from the irrigation and this was pretty productive. First up a stunning male Ehrenberg's Redstart

Ehrenberg's Redstart (Phoenicurus p. sammamisicus)

A couple of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida)

and a Red-spotted Bluethroat

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

However, the star of the morning was a brightly coloured Yellow-browed Warbler that I picked up quietly foraging in the grass on the edge of the water - those wing bars just jumped out. Certainly my best sighting of this species which is scarce in Kuwait

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

By now it was warming up and we had a few soaring species pass by overhead - Purple Heron

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

more Pallid Harrier

Male Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

and a few Steppe Buzzards - this one 'checking' in mid-air when it saw me below

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

In an alfalfa field, a Plain Tiger was foraging on the flowering plants

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)

We then headed back south to Jahra Pools in the hope of catching a few more raptors as more thermals were generated by the rising temperature. On the big pool, a single Black-headed Grebe was the first for this autumn

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

A couple of Garganey were flushed from the pool

Garganey (Anas querquedula)

And a Common Tern passed by at speed

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

A real spectacle was a flock of 200+ Western White Storks taking to a thermal after roosting overnight on the beach - I haven't seen this number in Kuwait before, so it was a real treat (spot the impostor in flock!)

Western White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

Western Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the reed beds

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

However, another highlight were two Short-toed Snake Eagles that came by low overhead and started thermalling above us - what a raptor and those eyes and great bird to end the morning on!

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

Look at the size difference

No comments:

Post a Comment