22 October 2018

Rambling around the Pivots

Week 37; 11 September 2018 - Pivot Fields

We had a days holiday for the Hijri New Year and together with Neil Tovey and Paul Scott, we made the most of it by arranging a visit to the Pivot Fields.

We were there just after sunrise and enjoyed seeing some Grey and Purple Herons leaving their roost site at one of the pools on the farm with contrails in the sky above

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) at dawn

Numbers of wintering Black-eared Kites had roosted overnight on the Pivots and were soon active above the fields

Black-eared Kite (Milvus m. lineatus)

The fields are just ideal for Harriers and the most prominent during our visit was Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

and later in the morning Western Marsh Harrier

Male Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

We were surprised to find not one, but two Black-winged Kites and it is amazing how their status in Kuwait has changed over the past few years from requiring a rare bird report to now being an annual visitor

Black-winged Kite (Elanus c. vociferus)

A huge flock of Western Cattle Egret's were 'camped' under and next to one of the Pivots - they seem to just love the fine spray whilst foraging along with the slow moving pivot irrigation

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

In one corner of the farm, we found a few Purple Heron in some really long grass, that made for a creative photographic opportunity

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

Neil had to leave, so Paul and I carried on slowly driving around the farm. A flock of juvenile Collared Pratincoles were reluctant to leave a big puddle of water in the road - so we spent a little time with them

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

In one of the fields, we had a few Greater Short-toed Larks 

Greater short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)

And a single Ortolan Bunting that dropped in

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)

In an area with some reeds and lush grass, we had a calling Savi's Warbler and I think this is a glimpse of it disappearing from view

Probable Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)

In the same area we also had Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

and surprisingly some Indian Silverbill

Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica)

Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica) and Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

along with a pair of Scaly-breasted Munia which seem to be settling in Kuwait and in the next few years will probably be a Cat C species (right now they are still Cat E)

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

A single Common Rosefinch was also picked up in the same reeds as the Great Reed Warbler

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

Overhead amongst the Hirundines, we picked up a Common House Martin which seemed to have longer than usual tail streamers - not sure how variable the streamer length is?

Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)

In one of the irrigation trenches a winter plumaged Black-headed Bunting was foraging

Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala)

We had a good number of invertebrates with many Clouded Yellows and a few that were pale green (rather than yellow) like this one below which is Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow

Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias erate)

There were plenty of Dragonflies which are photogenic subjects in their own right - these are all Darter types

Darter sp.

And this one is a complete unknown

Dragonfly tbc

Overall, we had a fantastic and enjoyable day out with a good variety of autumn migrants

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