22 February 2020

Guiding - Day 1

Week 07; 14 February 2020 - Abdullah Al Salem, Al Shaheed Park, Sulaibikhat Bay, Jahra Farm and Jahra Pools

Kuwait had a really cold front earlier in the week, so that was a worry for this weekend's guiding. I picked up Max Dettori from his hotel in Salmiya and we headed to Sulaibikhat Bay to check for the Lesser Flamingo that had been seen a few days earlier. We scanned many large flocks without success. 

By 9am we were sitting comfortably in the private garden in Abdullah Al Salem on Sunbird watch. Our hosts kindly provided tea/coffee and cakes and it wasn't long before we were rewarded with a brief appearance of the female. A little later, the male put in an appearance in his fresh breeding plumage - big WP tick for Max!

Female Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

Male Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) on a Cosmos plant

We then headed to the other side of 1st Ring Road for a quick walk around Al Shaheed Park with the weather warming up pretty nicely. First spring migrant was a Common Nightingale that proved tricky to get good views as it stayed deep in cover.

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

Next was a Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

Followed by two Masked Shrike's - although some of these birds do overwinter

Female Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)

Male Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)

Leaving the Park, we made another detour past Sulaibikhat as the tide would be more favourable - still no luck. But in the distance we enjoyed watching an impressive 'murmuration' of waders whirling about above the shoreline

Murmuration of Waders

Onward to Jahra Farm where we had an enjoyable walk - Black/Black-eared Kite overhead (this one has 6 primary fingers)

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Together with a mixed Hirundine flock that contained a few Red-rumped Swallows

Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)

Then it was across to Jahra Pools Reserve where we had a Pallid Harrier along with the Western Marsh Harriers

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Greater Spotted Eagles along the coast

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

and a large flock of Greater Flamingo's that suddenly took flight

The chaos of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) take-off

For the last hour of the day, it was a last try to check the Flamingo flock - we scanned till our eyes hurt, no sign of the Lesser

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

There were a few large Gulls whirling about overhead - not 100% sure on the ID of this one, as it is still moulting into summer plumage

Gull sp.

By now the sun was headed to the horizon, so good time to call it a day and with the Sunbird in the bag!

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