19 January 2019

A slow start to 2019

Week 02; 12 January 2019 - Al Abraq, Dairy Farm Pivots and Jahra Farm

The 2-weeks spent in South Africa for Christmas and New Year was most enjoyable; really great to see my family again, catch-up with friends, enjoy good food and wine and relishing the time in our own house after many years of having it rented. All too soon, it was time to head back to the desert....

The sunrise this morning while waiting for Paul Scott was reminiscent of a tropical island, but this was mid-winter Kuwait (and it was cold) - it was still spectacular.

Tropical Sunrise in Kuwait

We headed west to Al Abraq and stopping to photograph a few camels grazing in the desert just after sunrise. The desert is a fine carpet of 'green' following the unseasonable rains in December.

Post rain grazing

Birds take a lot longer to become active in winter, so for the first hour we were a little lost. Eventually we came across a pair of European Stonechat's that were still roosting in one of the fields.

Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

As it warmed up, so the numerous Painted Lady butterflies became active - they were literally everywhere.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

We had a couple of other species, but really nothing out of the ordinary. We cut our losses and headed to the Dairy Farm Pivots, only to have it cloud over. No Skylarks, but there were a few Greater Short-toed and numerous Water Pipits.

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

Back toward Kuwait City and a detour to Jahra Farms, at least here there was a little more diversity. We had a pair of obliging Rose-ringed Parakeets feeding on fruit in one of the trees.

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

I found Hypocolius for Paul, one of his 'wanted' birds

Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

And most of the other regular resident's were also present.

Yesterday, Paul and I planned to have a fresh fish lunch at All Kout fish market. while we waited for them to open after Friday prayer, we found a place behind the market to check out the Gulls. Many of the adults have completed their moult's, so this made ID a little easier only one Caspian

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)

A couple of Heuglin's

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)

And many 1st/2nd year birds that are still tough to separate (at least for me they are)

Gull - tbc

Gull - tbc

Gull - tbc

A couple of Continental Great Cormorants passed by..

Continental Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis)

In the end, we didn't have our fish, as it was over a 2-hour waiting time to have it grilled - so that was a little disappointing. Next time we will be earlier.....

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