03 August 2015

A mixed bag in the South

Week 17, 25 April 2015 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

Again, I was back in the south of Kuwait to check out the migrant action around the Sea City project. 

The routine on route remains the same with Egg McMuffin meal on the way and then spend a bit of time near some degraded reed habitat, before checking out the lagoons and beaches. Weather conditions weren't favourable this morning with a strong wind and blowing dust which kept birds in cover. Not so, for this male Common Redstart

Male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
This cracking Red-backed Shrike opted to stay closer to the reeds where it was sheltered from the wind

Male Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

There were good numbers of Willow Warblers foraging through the reeds, this one with particularly white underparts

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
In some standing ground water, I found a few waders including; Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
and a shy but distant Temminck’s Stint

Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii)
A little further up the road, there were a couple of Hirundines overhead, amongst them were Common House Martin (these just poor record images for the post)

Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
and Sand Martin

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
A Common Kestrel also passed by overhead a little later

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Once out on the boat, I came across some roosting Terns including a mixed family of Little Terns

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

and a young Common Tern, which I have not seen often in the south of Kuwait

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) amongst the Little Terns (Sternula albifrons)

as well as a few Grey Plover

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Just off the breakwater some Lesser Crested Terns were foraging and diving for breakfast

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
Whilst a 1st year Socotra Cormorant was roosting in it's usual place

1st year Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
I then drove to and explored around Khiran village, finding a few more migrants in the form of European Roller

Adult European Roller (Coracias garrulus)
Around the coastal area, a small flock of Lesser Sand Plovers was trying their best to shelter from the blowing sand

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
In the desert area, Daurian Shrike

Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
And Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Along with a mid-sized flock of Ortolan Buntings were recorded

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana)

This may be a young bird, as it has pretty pale upperparts

I heard a different call and after careful searching saw a few well camouflaged Pale Rockfinch on a small rocky outcrop

Pale Rockfinch (Carpospiza brachydactyla)
A grubby looking female Pied Wheatear alighted on top of a small scrubby bush

Female Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)
Followed shortly thereafter by a Upcher's Warbler

Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida)
Driving along a sandy track, a Desert Monitor that was about to cross went completely flat on the ground, trying it's best to not cast a shadow and remain 'invisible'. After I got just one image, he was off at speed!

Desert Monitor (Varanus griseus)

I was on my way home, when I noticed a darker Martin hawking between some of the chalets on the coast. I jumped out of my car and waited patiently until not one, but two flew by overhead - Eurasian Crag Martin, a bird I hadn't seen for a good few years!

Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne  rupestris)

That was definitely a good enough bird to call it a day....

and finally that's the April backlog up to date!


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