A quick visit to Jahra Pool Reserve showed things have changed, Purple Swamphen numbers reduced indicating that wintering population has left leaving only few breeding pairs. I was able to see only one Purple Swamphen.
There is now migration movement of Turkestan Shrike 3, Mauryan Shrike 2, Caspian Stonechat 2, Pied Wheatears 1, Squacco Heron 2.
Breeding birds are still there including Little Grebe 10, Moorhen 20, Ferruginous Ducks 6, Graceful Prina 6, Slender-billed Gull 60, Mallard 3, and a single White-throated Robin that might breed this year. These numbers are rough and what I was able to see in this short visit.
Migrating birds that has has not started to move include Black-headed Gull 50, Eurasian Coot 30, Greater Flamingo 2, Northern Shoveler 2.
Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
I visited this morning Jahra Farms. I stopped by the birding well of Bank Mynas and I soon heard their familiar call. Yes they are back again after being missing the whole winter. I saw a flock of c. 20 birds settled in the tree next to the well. Otherwise Jahra Farms as well as Jahra Pool Reserve were a bit disappointing since I couldn’t find any migrants.
Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)
This morning I went with Dr Gary Brown to Jahra East Outfall where we saw, Purpel Swamphen 16 of which 4 were grey-headed, Eurasian Spoonbill 5, Mallard 6, Eurasian Teal 4, Ferruginous Duck 8, Garganey 5, Pallid Swift 15, Barwn Swallow 6, Sand Martin 4, Greater Flamingo 10, Great Cormorant 7, Western Great Egret 2, Black-headed Gull 30, Black-necked Grebe 2, Little Grebe 3, European Robin 3.
After that we went to Al-Abraq, where we saw; Western Black Redstart 5, European Robin 3, Meadow Pipit 12, Crested Lark 8, White Wagtail 5, but when we went to the northern side of the farm we saw a Pallid Scops Owl.
Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei
This morning as I was preparing to leave home I received a call from Mike Pope saying that the Streak-throaed Swallow is still at Jahra Pool Reserve. I went there and saw the bird and had a chance to photograph it. This a first for Kuwait and the 400th addition to Kuwait Bird List.
This is probably the 2nd for Western Palearctic list as defined by AERC. The first was found in Egypt on 19/11/2003.
Streak-throated Swallow Petrochelidon fluvicola
At the end of the day we visited Jahra Pool Reserve hoping to see Baillon’s Crake which didn’t show up. However, Dennis O’Sullivan spotted a hirundine that we thought in the beginning to be Brown-throated Martin. Just after I reached home I received a call from the group stating that they think that the bird is actually 1st winter Streak-throated Swallow. I started to check my pictures with “Birds of The Middle East” and indeed it looked like a juvenile Sreak-throated Swallow. If this is accepted by KORC it will be first record for Kuwait and number 400 on it’s list.
First winter Streak-throated Swallow (Petrochelidon fluvicola) Note dark streaked band across thighs.
Sreak-throated Swallow. Note dusky throat
Sreak-throated Swallow. Note contrasting pale brown rump
Sreak-throated Swallow. Note pale brownish head and very little forked tail
Eurasian Spoonbill 4, Pallid Swift 2, Baillon’s Crake 1, Little Grebe 4, Purple Swamphen 15, Black-necked Grebe 2, Mallard 3, Moorhen 50, Western great Egret 1, Eurasian Teal 2, Eurasian Coot 25, Greater Flamingo 17.
Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla
Western Great Egret Ardea alba
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
I was with 5 British, one Irish and one Italian birders in Abdaly farms. We managed to see 6 Afghan Babblers and as a bonus species we saw adult male Shikra. There were also a big flock of Hypocolius. However, this wasn’t the whole story yet. On our way back to Kuwait city we visited Sabriya farm. This farm is not particularly big but interesting since it is located near coast line. Almost immediately Alan saw something interesting in the first corner of the wall. Others saw male Black Redstart. Later on we came across with the bird that appeared to be Red-breasted Flycatcher. Since the season is not right for that species we decided to have a better look of the bird. Little by little the real nature of the bird started to emerge. Almost everyone of the group contributed small pieces of evidence showing that indeed we were dealing with Taiga Flycatcher. I naturally spred the word among local birders. We visited the site also today and we managed to hear different type call compared to R-b Flycatcher. AbdulRahman visited the farm this morning and he managed to get good pictures. See AbdulRahman’s pictures below.
Yesterday afternoon I was texted by Pekka saying he and the visiting group found a Taiga Flycatcher at Al-Shallal ‘s Farm. I went there just 30 minutes before sunset, but after 15 minutes search I couldn’t find the bird, it was getting dark so I had leave. Early in the morning today I went to the farm but after 25 minutes I found the bird. It had dark upper tail coverts, greyish suffusion on breast contrasting with whitethroat, very darkish bill including bill base, and overall upperparts colder than a Red-breasted Flycatcher. At this time of year all Red-breasted Flycatcher have left.
The first record of Taiga Flycatcher was only found this year on 14th April, so a second record in the same year sounds rewarding.
Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus