11 February 2020

The onset of Spring

Week 6; 08 February 2020 - Sulaibikhat Bay, Jahra Farm and JPR

As its winter, it's quite acceptable to have a later start. Today I had a slow drive up the coast stopping at the KISR Outfall to check if the Lesser Flamingo's were still present (there were 2 reported a week or so ago). The tide was so far out, that it was almost impossible to check.

I enjoyed watching this Little Egret fishing while trying to warm up as the sun slowly rose from the horizon

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

This is also one of the locations for Hypocolius and I wasn't disappointed with a flock of 60+  Stunning birds!

Male Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

Female Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)

A bird sitting high in a tree caught my attention, got my bins onto it and saw it was a Weaver, but not Rüppell's. A few pics and checking the field guide, I concluded it was a Golden-backed Weaver transitioning into breeding plumage. Definitely a Cat E species, although in UAE it is now established and considered a Cat C species (introduced but with a sustainable breeding population)

Golden-backed Weaver (Ploceus jacksoni)

I then headed to Jahra Farm for a quick walk around, this site has been very quiet of late and today was no different. Although, I did enjoy a pair of Barn Swallows collecting nesting material and flying off into Jahra town to build their nest. Another breeding record outside of Jahra Pools where a few pairs breed each year - so this is pretty exciting.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Green Toad's were out in force, warming up for spring

Green Toad (Pseudepidalea viridis)

It was then across the freeway to JPR, finding the long-staying Spur-winged Lapwing

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)

and Common Kingfisher on the boundary fence

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

On the big pool, Great Cormorants have transitioned into breeding plumage

Continental Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis)

Last week, I had seen a smallish Great Egret in one of the ponds and wandered if it could be Intermediate (which is overdue in Kuwait). Today it was in the same pool again and I managed to get a few images as it flew off. The gape extending beyond the eye means it is still a Great Egret

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Water Pipits are also slowly transitioning into their breeding plumage, but for me their numbers are really down this year

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

There were good numbers of Red-spotted Bluethroat, with many having over-wintered. This one playing a little hiding-go-seek

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

Daurian Shrikes are also numerous and no sign of the Brown Shrike this morning

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

By mid-morning I reluctantly had to leave and take my SUV for its 5000km service

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