24 November 2019

Surprises at the Pivots

Week 46; 16 November 2019 - Pivot Fields and Sulaibikhat Bay

Debbie Barnes was back in Kuwait on business again and joined Paul Scott and I at the Pivots for an enjoyable winter mornings birding. At this time of year, we have welcome clouds, so the sunrises are enjoyable to watch and appreciate

Pivot Field Sunrise

Slowly driving around the farm as the sun rose, we found the Indian Roller, but it was not at all obliging. We did get a single Corn Bunting on the pivot in pre-dawn gloom

Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)

Water Pipit and White Wagtail numbers seem to grow week-on-week

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

A few Sociable Lapwings are still present in the growing flock of Northern Lapwing

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

We had both Long-legged and Steppe Buzzard with the latter being a little more accommodating

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)

Steppe Buzzard (Buteo b. vulpinus)

We spent some time at the marsh, where there were numerous Red-spotted Bluethroat

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

As well as Stonechat's, which will remain as Eastern type's for now

Eastern Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

A Eurasian Sparrowhawk passed by overhead

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

As did some Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

a 'dirty' Sand Martin against the light had me going for awhile

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

A couple of White-tailed Lapwing's did a fly past

White-tailed Laping (Vanellus leucurus)

Checking the other side of the marsh, we found a small flock of Eurasian Siskin

Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

We continued driving, flushing two Eastern Imperial Eagle from a field

Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)

We also stopped to see both Greater Spotted Eagles perched together on a pivot

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila fulvescens and Aquila clanga)

And whilst checking out some Greater Short-toed Lark's, this one popped up into view - by best and closest sighting ever of Bimaculated Lark!

Bimaculated Lark (Melanocorypha bimaculata)

Earlier we had seen a couple of Mauryan Grey Shrikes, but this one sitting on the overhead wire was distinctly more grey below and appeared to be slate grey above - a good candidate for Arabian Grey that will need to be submitted to KORC for adjudication

Possible Arabian Grey Shrike (Lanius aucheri)

As time was passing and the tide would be favourable, we drove to Sulaibikhat Bay for the Flamingo flock and to check if our 'pink lady' was still present - she was!

Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)

Again, the Greater Flamingo's were quite entertaining and quite tolerant of our approach

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

I caught one of them doing its 'man with a semafor flag' impersonation, but have often seen quite a number in the flock doing the same thing. The appear to stand upright and erect and then suddenly and deliberately snap open both wings and hold this pose for 10-seconds. This is repeated a few times. I guess it is some kind of display, but it seems odd in winter when breeding is still a few months away?

Displaying Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

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