19 August 2019

Quality not quantity at Abraq

Week 34; 13 August 2019 - Al Abraq

After re-hydrating yesterday afternoon, I was up really early to be at Abraq in the west just after 6am. I always dread how many shooters there might be camped on the perimeter and jumping over the fence to shoot inside the farm - and today they were like the plague, very depressing! Mind you, I normally take pictures of their registration numbers, so those inside the farm generally jump back over the fence - but the shooting continues, along with tape playback on a frigging boom box!

I drove to where I wouldn't be irritated by the shooting and it was here I noticed a Warbler feeding in the low scrub on the side of the road. I jumped out the car and followed it as it alternated between feeding on the ground and in the scrub. As I was focusing on trying to get decent images, I only paid attention to the ID once home where I saw that it was something different. Initial thought was Paddyfield, but the features didn't quite fit. So, it could have been Booted or Sykes's - but primaries didn't seem short enough for Sykes's. So, when in doubt check with the expert and thanks to Peter Kennerley who confirmed it was indeed Booted and would be the 8th record for Kuwait. Out of the 8 records, 6 have been recorded in August and this one being the earliest August record so far.

8th Booted Warbler (Iduna caligata) for Kuwait

A little further on, there was some standing water under some trees that was a magnet for many birds that pass by this remote farm in the western desert; Lesser Short-toed Lark

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Alaudala rufescens)

A small flock of 1st year Rose-coloured Starling's

Rose-coloured Starling (Pastor roseus)

Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

Pale Rockfinch 

Pale Rockfinch (Carpospiza brachydactyla)

and a single Garganey, were all good birds in this area

Garganey (Anas querquedula)

There was a fairly big flock of European Bee-eaters

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

and good numbers of Eurasian Hoopoe

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

and I had my first European Roller's 

European Roller (Coracias garrulus)

and Grey Wagtail for this autumn

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

By now the heat had cranked up and with it the shooters had pissed off to where they had come from, but birds had also retreated to the shade which is where I found my last bird of the morning, a Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala)

Since I'm a sucker for punishment, I headed back east to check out the high tide at Sulaibikhat Bay - again!


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