18 November 2018

After the floods

Week 45; 10 November 2018 - Pivot Fields

Following heavy rains earlier in the week, we had much more last night and meteorological department reported a record breaking 253mm rain and the highest ever rainfall recorded in Kuwait's history. Of course, it created havoc and there was severe flooding in many coastal areas and in some cases we had rivers where roads used to be.

The rain had abated a little in the night, so I decided to see if I could get to Pivot Fields and had to take a few alternate roads to finally get there. In fact it was a challenge getting through the gate as the was a large and quite deep pool of standing water at the gate and across the road. A number of roads were not passable in the farm and in some of the fields a couple of large temporary lakes had now formed, so it was not surprising to see some Norther Shoveler take off from one of them.

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

In the gloom of a Tamerisk Tree, I picked up a late Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Most of the raptors were perched trying to dry out their feathers, up to 7 Greater Spotted Eagle

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

Including one fulvescens

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila c. fulvescens)

And a couple of Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

The Long-legged Buzzard was still present, but still skittish as ever

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)

I re-found the Black-winged Kite and it seems to have taken up residence at the farm

Black-winged Kite (Elanus c. vociferus)

Slowly the clouds and gloom lifted a little and other birds started making an appearance. I spend some time with this female Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)

I searched again for the Arabian Grey Shrike, finding only Mauryan Grey

Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius l. pallidirostris)

The number of Namaqua Doves had increased 10-fold since my last visit

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)

Quite a few Caspian Stonechat's were seen

Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. variegatus)

The big flock of Western Cattle Egrets were concentrated around one of the new pools along with numbers of other wader species that were attracted by the new bodies of water

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Vagrant Emperor was taking advantage and already laying eggs in the water

Vagrant Emperor (Hemianax ephippiger)

Elsewhere a few Clouded Yellows were seen.

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)

Common Woodpigeon were seen and this seems to be the small flock of 6-7 birds that have been present for some time

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)

White-throated Kingfisher's were pretty vocal after the rains and up to 4 were seen around the farm.

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

So, despite the inclement weather, the birding improved as the clouds slowly lifted and it was a pleasant morning out.

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