Winter Tour Report 11-19 November 2017

Participants from left to right: Kaj Sjostedt, Marc Lucas, Martin Kviesgaard, Hugues DUFOURNY (Guide), Fabien RUYSSCHAERT, AbdulRahman Al-Sirhan (Guide), Per Jansen, Marielle LECHAUX, Sven Sjostedt, Francis SMIGIELSKI.

First day 12/11/2017: We started at Al-Shallal’s Farm, where we hoped to find some rarities such as the Eversmann’s Redstart, but it was quiet there, we had our first White-eared Bulbul there.

Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli.Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen there: Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 2, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 1, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 3, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 2, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 4, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 1, Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 4, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 12, Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 1, Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 2, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 30.

We then headed to Sabah Al-Ahmad Nature Reserve, a closed reserve, but we can bird over the fence, our main targets there were Red-tailed Wheatear, Asian desert Warbler and Menetries’s Warbler, where we had them with ease.

Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Asian Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minula. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Sabah Al-Ahmad Nature Reserve:

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 2, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 8, Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana 6, Menetries’s Warbler Sylvia mystacea 2, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia 2, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 10, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 2, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris 1.

Jal Al Zor is a good place to guarantee seeing the Eastern Mourning wheatear, so we were there to find the bird and a third Red-tailed Wheatear for the day.

Birds that were seen at Jal Al Zor: Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens 2, Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia 1, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 4, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 1.

We wanted to have lunch at a Kuwaiti restaurant near Jahra Farms, but it closed so we went birding in the farms until an Indian restaurant opened at 12:30 pm. Highlights from Jahra Farms were Caspian Stonechat, Common Myna, Olive-backed Pipit.

Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Jahra Farms:

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 5, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 3, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 1, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 2, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 1, Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 1, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 2, House Sparrow Passer domesticus indicus 34.

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga. Photo: © Marc Lucas

After Jahra Farms we went to the Indian restaurant and had a delicious lunch, and decided to end the day at the famous wetland; The Jahra Pools Reserve. There we had a Greater Spotted Eagle, Grey-headed Swamphen, White-tailed Lapwing, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Daurian and Mauryan Grey Shrikes and a White-throated Kingfisher.

Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus. Photo: © Marc Lucas

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Jahra Pools Reserve, 39 species:

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 3, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 9, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 27, Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis 2, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 13, Great White Egret Ardea alba 6, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 8, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 2, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 1, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 4, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 2, White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus 3, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 4, Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 2, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 14, Ruff Calidris pugnax 2, Dunlin Calidris alpina 5, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 2, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus 1, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 1, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 2, Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 260, Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 230, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 1, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 5, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 2, Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris 1, Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti 1, Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 2, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 1, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 1, European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 5, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 4, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 50.

On 13/11/2017, our second day, started at Fintas Park to find our first Masked Shrike, Lesser Whitethroat and our target species, the Rüppell’s Weaver.

Rüppell’s Weaver Ploceus galbula. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Fintas Park:

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 5, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 5, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 1, Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca 1, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 1, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 30, Rüppell’s Weaver Ploceus galbula 2.

We headed to Abu Al-Hassaniya for the terns where we had them with ease. Also, we had good views of Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers.

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Abu Al-Hasaniya:

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 8, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1, Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus 2, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 5, Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 5, Sanderling Calidris alba 46, Dunlin Calidris alpina 5, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 2, Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei 3, Heuglin’s Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) heuglini 7, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 3, Common Tern Sterna hirundo 3, Great Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii 13, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis 10, Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis 85, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 2, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 1.

Green Island is a famous site for the Hypocolius, although we saw only three birds, but had there a Turkestan Shrike, two Yellow-throated Sparrows and a Red-vented Bulbul.

Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Green Island

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 1, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1, Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans 1, Steppe Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) barabensis  1, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 2, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 17, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 31, Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides 1, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 2, Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus 8, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 12, Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 1, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 3, Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus 3, Yellow-throated Sparrow Gymnoris xanthocollis 2.

We headed then to Mutla’a Ranch hoping to find an Eversmann’s Redstart, as I parked the car, there was a Desert Finch in front of the car that soon flew away. We also heard a Hume’s Warbler calling.

Birds that were seen at Mutla’a Ranch

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 2, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 9, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 6, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 25, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 3, Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei 1, Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca 1, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 3, Western Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 4, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 6, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 1, Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsoleta 1, House Sparrow Passer domesticus indicus 25.

Al-Liyah Reserve is a desert area with scattered bushes, it was a quarry that has been restored. We had our first Steppe Eagle, Pallid Harrier and our only Bar-tailed Larks.

Birds that were seen at Al-Liyah Reserve

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 2, Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus 1, Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris 1, Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura 7, Lesser Short-toed Lark Alaudala rufescens 26, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 15, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 6, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 2, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 3.

On 14/11/2017, we started at Sulaibikhat Bay to find our wader target species and gulls. With ease, we found our first Broad-billed Sandpipers, only one distant Crab Plover and our main target the Great Black-headed Gull, two Terek Sandpipers, three Armenian Gulls and 52 Indian reef Herons. We also had our maximum number of 57 Hypocolius.

Crab-Plover Dromas ardeola. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Sulaibikhat Bay

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 30, Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 1274, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 320, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 5, Indian Reef Heron Egretta gularis schistacea  52, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 1, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 1, Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 1, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 50, Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 4, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 144, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 1, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 13, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 135, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 1, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 286, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 152, Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 5, Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus 60, Dunlin Calidris alpina 800, Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 2, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 4, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 24, Crab-Plover Dromas ardeola 1, Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei 285, Common Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 500, Great Black-headed Gull Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus 1, Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans 1, Armenian Gull Larus armenicus 3, Lesser Black-backed Gull fuscus Larus fuscus 1, Heuglin’s Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) heuglini 17, Steppe Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) barabensis 4, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica 18, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 65, White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 1, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 1, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 2, Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus 57.

Kabd Reserve is the breeding site of the resident species of Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, we went there and had prolonged good views of these very dark larks, we also had another Red-tailed and Finsch’s Wheatear.

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were also seen at Kabd Reserve 

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 25, Black-eared Kite Milvus (migrans) lineatus 2, Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides 1, Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris 2, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps 19, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 31, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 6, Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 1, Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe 1, Finsch’s Wheatear Oenanthe finschii 1, Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia 1, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 6, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 6, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris 1.

At 13 pm we decided to drive north to Abdali Farms, the breeding site for the Afghan Babbler. By 2:30 pm we were there watching the Babblers, we then went to a site where the Red-wattled Lapwings are regularly seen. As we stopped the car there were two birds just in front of us, we then got off the car and counted 15 birds.

Afghan Babbler Turdoides (caudata) huttoni. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Abdali Farm:

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1, Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 9, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 15, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 15, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 10, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 2, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 4, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 15, Afghan Babbler Turdoides (caudata) huttoni 11, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 3, Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus 32, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 34.

15/11/2017 was our fourth day, we had already found most of target species with ease, so we went to the famous oasis for rare birds hoping to find a mega bird. It was quiet there, but we first had a Yellow-browed warbler and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. We decided to leave after searching there for five hours.

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Abraq Al-Khabari

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus 1, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 3, Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 2, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides 1, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 4, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 5, Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 1, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida 1, Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon 1, Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 1, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 4, Western Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros  1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 2, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 2, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 1, Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 4, Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus 1, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 1, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 6, Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 2, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 25.

Birds that were seen at Al Abraq Oasis Outside

Greater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipes 3

In our way, back from the Al Abraq we decided to stop at the United Poultry Pivot Fields, we scanned the area from outside, but there were nothing interesting apart from three Cream-coloured Coursers.

Birds that were seen at United Poultry Pivot Fields

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 1, Ruff Calidris pugnax 1, Dunlin Calidris alpina 1, Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor 3, Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1, Lesser Short-toed Lark Alaudala rufescens 5, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 120, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 2, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 80, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 5.

As we approached the Sulaibiya Pivot Fields, we talked about the chance that we may be lucky enough to find an early arrived Indian Roller. As we stopped and pointed our scopes towards the pivot fields, soon Martin Kviesgaard finds the bird perching on the overhead power line. By now we had most of our target species apart from the Crested Honey Buzzard and the Asian Shikra which were very difficult this year.

Birds that were seen at Sulaibiya Pivot Fields

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 4, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 2, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 2, Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca 2, Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 1, Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 1, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 48, Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis 1, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 75.

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis. Photo: Martin Kviesgaard

On our fifth day 16/11/2017 we decided to visit Jahra Farms early in the morning to get a better chance to see the Bank Mynas. We searched the first farm and as we were intending to leave for the next farm, a flock of Bank Mynas flew from the next farm and landed where we were but behind the walls. A quick search and there we see them on palm trees. We then explored the farms until we had good views of two Olive-backed Pipits right in front of us. Our next stop was Jahra Pools Reserve in hoping to find the rare Great Knot.

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria

Birds that were seen at Al Jahra Farms

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 4, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 1, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 20, Pallid Swift Apus pallidus 2, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 1, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 3, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 2, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 1, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 2, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 4, Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 1, Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria 1, Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca 1, Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis 2, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 10, Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus 1, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 15, Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus 12, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 12, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 2, Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 2, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 3, Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra 3, Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs 1, Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 25, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 25.

At Jahra Pools Reserve we found our first Namaqua Dove otherwise only the usual birds or birds we have already seen.

Namaqua Dove Oena capensis. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Jahra East Outfall

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata 13, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 4, Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 18, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 7, Great White Egret Ardea alba 62, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 5, Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis 7, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 1, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 1, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 1, Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 1, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 84, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 5, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 22, Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 39, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 14, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 10, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 3, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1 Common Redshank Tringa totanus 8, Common Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 210, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 1, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 1, Namaqua Dove Oena capensis 3, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 1, Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris 1, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 2, Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 4, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 5, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris 2, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 5.

We went to Rumaithiya hoping to relocate the Crested Honey Buzzard that was already seen a few days ago, but all our search effort were in vain.

Birds that were seen at Rumaithiya Park:

Rock Dove Columba livia 12, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 9, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 6, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 2, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 5, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 12.

On our sixth day, 17/11/2017 we decided to start at Jahra Pools Reserve. We saw a little Bittern flying over the reeds and heard another in the opposite side. We also had our only Purple Heron for the tour. Also saw four Caucasian (Mountain) Chiffchaffs which was a lifer species for some. Three species of kingfishers were seen on this day.

Caucasian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus lorenzii. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Birds that were seen at Al Jahra Pools Natural Reserve

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 1, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 4, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 4, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 2, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 3, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 2, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1, Continental Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax sinensis 6, Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus 2, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 3, Great White Egret Ardea alba 28, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 15, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 3, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 4, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 2, Black-eared Kite Milvus migrans lineatus 1, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 2, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 7, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 6, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 30, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 54, Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus 2, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 5, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 5, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 4, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea 25, Dunlin Calidris alpina 4, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 4, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 5, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 1, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 4, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1, Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus 1, Sand Martin Riparia riparia 4, Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus 2, Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti 3, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 8, Caucasian (Mountain) Chiffchaff Phylloscopus lorenzii  3, Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon 4, Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus 2, Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens 3, Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis 2, Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 1, European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 400.

We briefly visited a desert reserve, Al-Liyah Reserve – Southern Section. We only had three species:

Lesser Short-toed Lark Alaudala rufescens 220, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 3, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 4.

We then went to Mutla’a Ranch, our luck struck when we saw a Purple Sunbird, a third for Kuwait and Western Palearctic. We all saw it very well as it came to drink from a dripping pipe three times. We also had our first brief views of an Asian Shikra, a male bird probably the same bird we saw last year. It was an elusive bird that did not give good views, always disappearing behind the trees. Also saw two Long-eared Owls, a rarity in Kuwait, another Namaqua Dove, a Central Asian (Eastern) Black Redstart, and an Olive-backed Pipit.

Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus

Birds that were seen there include: Shikra Accipiter badius 1, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1, Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 2, Namaqua Dove Oena capensis 2, Long-eared Owl Asio otus 2, Woodlark Lullula arborea 3, Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus 4, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 1, Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva 4, Western Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 1, Central Asian Black Redstart Phoenicurus (ochruros) phoenicuroides 2, Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus 1, Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 1, Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs 1, Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus.

Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus. Photo: © Marc Lucas

Sykes’s Warbler Iduna rama. Photo: © Marc Lucas

On our last day, on 18/11/2017, we decided to visit the Al Shaheed Park in Kuwait City. We were lucky enough to see two Sykes’s Warblers, a lifer for some of the visitors. Also saw Indian Silverbills and a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin.

Birds seen there include: Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 5, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 5, Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla 1, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 4, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus 3, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 5, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 4, Sykes’s Warbler Iduna rama 2, Caspian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus fuscus 3, Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens 1, Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 2, Garden Warbler Sylvia borin 1, Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria 2, Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca 12, Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis 1, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 2, Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus 1, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1, Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus 2, Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs 1, Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica 4.

Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica. Photo: © Marc Lucas

We then decide to search for the House Crow in the Kuwait Free Trade Zone, we didn’t find the bird but had the following: Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 221, Indian Reef Heron Egretta gularis schistacea 6, Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 1, Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus 1, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 1.

We decided to visit the nearby Kuwait University Campus, we a short search we saw two birds. We also saw Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 1, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 4, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, House Crow Corvus splendens 2, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 6.

Hugues DUFOURNEY suggested we visit the Doha Spit, there we had 196 Crab Plovers on the beach, we also saw: Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 70, Continental Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax sinensis 170, Great White Egret Ardea alba 5, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 3, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 4, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 70, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 50, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 490, Crab-Plover Dromas ardeola 196, Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei 96, Steppe Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) barabensis 3, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 3.

The group are having breakfast at 7:10 am in Al-Abraq Oasis

Taking a photograph of a Daurian Shrike in Al-Shahhed Park in Kuwait City.

The tour ends at Doha Spit, at which we had seen 174 species and three subspecies.

Last Year’s Winter Tour we had a closer number which was 173. See last’s year Winter Tour 12-20 November 2016 at https://www.birdsofkuwait.com/blog/2016/11/29/kuwait-trip-report-winter-tour-12-20-november-2016/

Checklist of the birds seen in the Winter Tour 11-19 Nov 2019:

177 species seen, three of which are subspecies, which are Steppe and Heuglin’s Gull, and Central Asian Black Redstart.

Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos

Northern Shoveler – Spatula clypeata

Northern Pintail – Anas acuta

Eurasian Teal – Anas crecca

Common Pochard – Aythya ferina

Ferruginous Duck – Aythya nyroca

Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula

Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis

Great Crested Grebe – Podiceps cristatus

Black-necked Grebe – Podiceps nigricollis

Greater Flamingo – Phoenicopterus roseus

Great Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo

Little Bittern – Ixobrychus minutus

Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea

Purple Heron – Ardea purpurea

Great White Egret – Ardea alba

Little Egret – Egretta garzetta

Western Reef-Heron – Egretta gularis

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis

Squacco Heron – Ardeola ralloides

Eurasian Spoonbill – Platalea leucorodia

Osprey – Pandion haliaetus

Short-toed Eagle – Circaetus gallicus

Greater Spotted Eagle – Clanga clanga

Steppe Eagle – Aquila nipalensis

Eastern Imperial Eagle – Aquila heliaca

Western Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus

Hen Harrier – Circus cyaneus

Pallid Harrier – Circus macrourus

Shikra – Accipiter badius

Eurasian Sparrowhawk – Accipiter nisus

Black Kite – Milvus migrans

Long-legged Buzzard – Buteo rufinus

Water Rail – Rallus aquaticus

Little Crake      Zapornia parva

Spotted Crake Porzana porzana

Grey-headed Swamphen – Porphyrio poliocephalus

Common Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot – Fulica atra

Pied Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta

Eurasian Oystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus

Grey Plover – Pluvialis squatarola

Northern Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus

Red-wattled Lapwing – Vanellus indicus

White-tailed Lapwing – Vanellus leucurus

Lesser Sand Plover – Charadrius mongolus

Greater Sand Plover – Charadrius leschenaultii

Kentish Plover – Charadrius alexandrinus

Common Ringed Plover – Charadrius hiaticula

Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus

Eurasian Curlew – Numenius arquata

Bar-tailed Godwit – Limosa lapponica

Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres

Ruff – Calidris pugnax

Broad-billed Sandpiper – Calidris falcinellus

Curlew Sandpiper – Calidris ferruginea

Sanderling – Calidris alba

Little Stint – Calidris minuta

Dunlin – Calidris alpina

Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago

Terek Sandpiper – Xenus cinereus

Green Sandpiper – Tringa ochropus

Common Greenshank – Tringa nebularia

Marsh Sandpiper – Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola

Common Redshank – Tringa totanus

Crab-Plover – Dromas ardeola

Cream-coloured Courser – Cursorius cursor

Slender-billed Gull – Chroicocephalus genei

Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Pallas’s Gull – Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus

Caspian Gull – Larus cachinnans

Armenian Gull – Larus armenicus

Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus

Heuglin’s Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) heuglini

Steppe Gull Larus (fuscus/heuglini) barabensis

Gull-billed Tern – Gelochelidon nilotica

Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia

White-winged Tern – Chlidonias leucopterus

Whiskered Tern – Chlidonias hybrida

Common Tern – Sterna hirundo

Great Crested Tern – Thalasseus bergii

Sandwich Tern – Thalasseus sandvicensis

Lesser Crested Tern – Thalasseus bengalensis

Rock Dove – Columba livia

Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto

Laughing Dove – Streptopelia senegalensis

Namaqua Dove – Oena capensis

Long-eared Owl – Asio otus

Pallid Swift – Apus pallidus

Eurasian Hoopoe – Upupa epops

Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis

White-throated Kingfisher – Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied Kingfisher – Ceryle rudis

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater – Merops persicus

Indian Roller – Coracias benghalensis

Eurasian Wryneck – Jynx torquilla

Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus

Ring-necked Parakeet – Psittacula krameri

Red-backed Shrike – Lanius collurio

Kurdistan Shrike – Lanius phoenicuroides

Daurian Shrike – Lanius isabellinus

Mauryan Grey Shrike – Lanius lahotra pallidirostris

Masked Shrike – Lanius nubicus

House Crow – Corvus splendens

Greater Hoopoe-Lark – Alaemon alaudipes

Bar-tailed Lark – Ammomanes cinctura

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark – Eremopterix nigriceps

Lesser Short-toed Lark – Alaudala rufescens

Woodlark – Lullula arborea

Eurasian Skylark – Alauda arvensis

Crested Lark – Galerida cristata

Sand Martin – Riparia riparia

Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica

Eurasian Penduline Tit – Remiz pendulinus

Red-vented Bulbul – Pycnonotus cafer

White-eared Bulbul – Pycnonotus leucotis

Cetti’s Warbler – Cettia cetti

Willow Warbler – Phylloscopus trochilus

Common Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita

Caucasian Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus lorenzii

Yellow-browed Warbler – Phylloscopus inornatus

Hume’s Warbler – Phylloscopus humei

Sykes’s Warbler – Iduna rama

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler – Iduna pallida

Moustached Warbler – Acrocephalus melanopogon

Eurasian Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Great Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Clamorous Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus stentoreus

Graceful Prinia – Prinia gracilis

Eurasian Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

Garden Warbler – Sylvia borin

Asian Desert Warbler – Sylvia nana

Barred Warbler – Sylvia nisoria

Lesser Whitethroat – Sylvia curruca

Menetries’s Warbler – Sylvia mystacea

Common Whitethroat – Sylvia communis

Afghan Babbler – Turdoides huttoni

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin – Cercotrichas galactotes

European Robin – Erithacus rubecula

Bluethroat – Luscinia svecica

Red-breasted Flycatcher – Ficedula parva

Common Redstart – Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Western Black Redstart – Phoenicurus ochruros

Central Asian Black Redstart – Phoenicurus (ochruros) phoenicuroides

European Stonechat – Saxicola rubicola

Siberian Stonechat – Saxicola maurus

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

Mourning Wheatear – Oenanthe lugens

Finsch’s Wheatear – Oenanthe finschii

Pied Wheatear – Oenanthe pleschanka

Red-tailed Wheatear – Oenanthe xanthoprymna

Desert Wheatear – Oenanthe deserti

Isabelline Wheatear – Oenanthe isabellina

Eurasian Blackbird – Turdus merula

Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos

Mistle Thrush – Turdus viscivorus

European Starling – Sturnus vulgaris

Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis

Bank Myna – Acridotheres ginginianus

Purple Sunbird – Cinnyris asiaticus

Grey Wagtail – Motacilla cinerea

White Wagtail – Motacilla alba

Tawny Pipit – Anthus campestris

Meadow Pipit – Anthus pratensis

Olive-backed Pipit – Anthus hodgsoni

Water Pipit – Anthus spinoletta

Hypocolius – Hypocolius ampelinus

Corn Bunting – Emberiza calandra

Common Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs

Brambling – Fringilla montifringilla

Desert Finch – Rhodospiza obsoleta

Eurasian Siskin – Spinus spinus

House Sparrow – Passer domesticus

Spanish Sparrow – Passer hispaniolensis

Yellow-throated Sparrow – Petronia xanthocollis

Ruppell’s Weaver – Ploceus galbula

Indian Silverbill – Euodice malabarica

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Marc Lucas, who allowed me the use of his photographs in this report.

27/12/2017 at Jahra Pools Reserve, Jal Al Zor and Sulaibikhat Bay

I started birding this morning with Guy Mirgain and Jean Schmitz. We searched for the martins from 6:50 am to 1:30 pm, but did not see the martins. Later we learnt that they were seen in the reserve at 2:30 pm!! At the end of the day, we went at the highest tide of the day for Sulaibikhat Bay, where we saw the Lesser Flamingo very easily, although the tide at its lowest but we managed to take photographs.

Tomorrow we will try for the Crested Honey Buzzard first then again for the martins.

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor

Jahra Pools Reserve:

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata 5, Eurasian Teal Anas crecca 10, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 8, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 4, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 5, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 2, Continental Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax sinensis 4, Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus 1, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 1, Great White Egret Ardea alba 5, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 12, Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis schistacea 1, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 4, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 3, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 2, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 2, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 3, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 5, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 43, Pallid Swift Apus pallidus 8, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 2, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 5, Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 3, Moustached Warbler

Acrocephalus melanopogon 3, Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens 2, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 2, European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 50, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 7, Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli 6.

Jal Al Zor:

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 1, Eastern Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens persicus 1, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 1.

Sulabikhat Bay:

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 17, Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor 1, Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis 4, Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 1, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 25, Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus 3, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 4, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 3, Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 1, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 34, Crab-Plover Dromas ardeola 49, Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 28, Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans 1, Armenian Gull Larus armenicus 1, Steppe Gull Larus fuscus barabensis 1, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 80.

 

11/12/2017 at Jahra Pools Reserve and Jahra Farms

This mourning Terry Boss and I started at Jahra Pools Reserve, our main target was Turkestan Shrike on his last day in Kuwait. We managed to see one, saw also Mountain Chiffchaffs and a Crested Honey Buzzard.

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Jahra Pools Reserve:

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 35, Gadwall Anas strepera 1, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 2, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 1, Eurasian Teal Anas crecca 6, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 16, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 6, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 3, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 4, Continental Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax sinensis 4, Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus 2, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 1, Great White Egret Ardea alba 2, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 31, Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 4, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 1, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 5, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 58, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 1, White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus 3, Ruff Calidris pugnax 1, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 10, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 3, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 26, Pallid Swift Apus pallidus 10, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 2, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 3, Red-tailed Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides 1, Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus 6, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 8, Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus 2, Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon 3, Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens 1, Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis 4, Bluethroat Luscinia svecica 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 4, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 4, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 4.

Jahra Farms:

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 11, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 5, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 1, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 2, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 1, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 17, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 8, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 8, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 8, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 5, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 8, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 35, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 26, ,

10/12/2017 Lesser Flamingo at Maternity Hospital, the 3rd (same bird since 2014) for Kuwait if accepted by KORC

The Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor was found yesterday. This is its 4th year since it started wintering in Kuwait with the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus flocks.

The Lesser Flamingo was first record was on 03/12/2007, the second on 16/01/2010.

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor

08/12/2017 at various sites

We started at Abdaly Farms, where we saw the Afghan Babblers, then stopped at Mutla’a Ranch to see Pallid Scops Owl which was found by Pardeep.

Birds of the day: Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei

Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei

Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei

List of birds seen:

Abdaly Farms:

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 5, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 2, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 6, Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis 2, Afghan Babbler Turdoides huttoni 5, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 2, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 12.

Mutla’a Ranch:

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 2, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 2, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 1, Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei 1, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 1, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 10, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 1, European Robin Erithacus rubecula 2, Central Asian Black Redstart Phoenicurus (ochruros) phoenicuroides 3, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 1, Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula 1, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 3, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 1.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, first winter

European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola

Al-Shallal’s Farm:

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 2, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1, Common Crane Grus grus 1, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 5, Western Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 5, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 3, Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 1, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 7.

SAANR:

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 2, Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1, Mauryan Grey Shrike Lanius lahotra pallidirostris 1.

Jahra Pools Reserve:

Gadwall Mareca strepera 4, Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope 18, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 20, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 1, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 5, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 3, Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 15, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 32, Great White Egret Ardea alba 26, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 40, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 2, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 3, Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 2, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 3, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 7, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 8, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 21, White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus 2, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 1, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 27, Dunlin Calidris alpina 1, Little Stint Calidris minuta 6, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 3, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 9, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 2, Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei 12, Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 25, Armenian Gull Larus armenicus 1, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 35, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 1, Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus 1, Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 1, White Wagtail Motacilla alba 36, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 5.

06/12/2017 Pale Martin and Grey-throated Martin are still in the same place!

Together with a visitor from the UK, Terry Boss, I visited Jahra Pools Reserve. We first saw a Mountain Chiffchaff, a Moustached Warbler, then were lucky to see the three Pale Martins together with the Grey-throated Martin! They are still here! Also had a Crested Honey Buzzard!

We then visited Jahra Farms where we saw a flock of 30 Bank Mynas, Masked Shrike and a Red-backed Shrike.

We ended the day at Kabd Reserve where we had three Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark!

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

Jahra Pools Reserve

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata 50, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 5, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 1, Common Pochard Aythya ferina 10, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca 10, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 3, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 4, Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 30, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 12, Great White Egret Ardea alba 2, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 15, Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 2, Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 1, Crested Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus 1, Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 7, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 2, Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 1, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 1, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 2, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 7, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 41, White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus 7, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 6, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 1, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1, Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 1, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 12, Pallid Swift Apus pallidus 5, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 6, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 1, Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus 3, Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis 1, Pale Martin Riparia diluta 1, Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus 1, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 5, Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus 2, Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon 3, Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens 3, Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica 2, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 2, Caspian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii 3, Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola 2, White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba 5, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 20, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis 50.

Jahra Farms

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 10, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 3, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 1, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus 1, White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis 5, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 8, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 2, Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus 30, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 20.

Kabd Reserve

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus 2, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 18, Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 10, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps 3, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis 35, Crested Lark Galerida cristata 5, Western Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 1, European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola 2, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti 13, Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 3, Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula 1, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris 1, House Sparrow Passer domesticus 15.

26/11/2017 A potential Pale Martin 2nd for WP if accepted by KORC and Probably a Grey-throated Martin at Jahra Pools Reserve.

Yesterday Markus Craig reported a presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis together with a Pale Martina Riparia diluta. Today he relocates the birds alert us in WhatsApp group. I rushed right away to find the four birds perching on a barbed wire next to a Barn Swallow. The four birds kept together hawking insects over the marsh. Although it was cloudy, but I managed to get some photos for identification.

There is the possibility of Brown-throated Martin Riparia paludicola, the African species which consists of seven subspecies according to IOC. While the Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis is possible which is an eastern species, consisting of two ssp, the nominate is distributed from Tajikistan and n Afghanistan to s China, Indochina and Taiwan, the tantilla ssp is considered unlikely, from Luzon (n Philippines).

The identification of both is uncertain and bending further study. Both records are under review by KORC.

In the photos there are some juveniles that look fresh with pale fringes to wing coverts and also adults moulting inner secondaries.

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, adult, showing some moult inner primaries, note pale iris

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, adult, showing some moult inner primaries, note pale iris

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, adult, showing some moult inner primaries, note pale iris

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, probably a first winter.

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, probably a first winter, note pale iris

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, probably first winter

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis, probably first winter

Pale Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Pale Martin Riparia diluta, adult, showing some moult inner primaries

Pale Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Pale Martin Riparia diluta, adult, showing some moult inner primaries

Pale Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Pale Martin Riparia diluta, probably a first winter, no active moult

Pale Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Pale Martin Riparia diluta, probably a first winter, no active moult

Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis

Presumed Pale Martin Riparia diluta, probably a first winter, no active moult

Al Shaheed Park 19-20 & 24-25.11.2017

I have now visited Al Shaheed Park four times and I’m more and more convinced that it is truly great park. 6 Sylvia species this time of the year! Similarly Daurian, Masked and Red-backed Shrikes. I have also seen Bank Myna and 2 Red-vented Bulbuls. Nightingale, Rufous-tailed Bush Robin and European Nightjar tell something about the place. Others have seen Indian Silverbill too.

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)

Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria)

Rufous-tailed Bush Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)

European Nightjar (Capromulgus europaeus)