Kuwait Day 4, 31 January 2012 - Al Abraq, Jahra Pools and Jahra Farms

The morning of our 4th day was dedicated to visiting the isolated farm of Al Abraq out in the western desert. On the drive out there we managed our first Black Kite of the trip and within a short space of time we'd arrived on site. Despite cold and windy conditions we thoroughly checked the whole area and had a very entertaining and educational morning. In an overgrown orchard area we quickly located the wintering Hume's Warbler and with a little encouragement from a recording it called back and showed very nicely. Also seen on our wander were Black Redstart, c3 Desert Wheatears, Chiffchaff, 6+ Song Thrushes, Robin and Cattle Egret. The next tactic here was to slowly drive a small area of green and irrigated cultivations on the edge of the farm which traditionally always attract plenty of birds. It proved a great idea with 8+ Water Pipits, 5+ Meadow Pipits, Tawny Pipit, 3 European Stonechats, loads of White Wagtails and surprisingly the first few migrant Yellow Wagtails. With perseverance and a lot of searching I got onto an odd looking heavily marked pipit and it was the bird we'd been hoping to connect with - a Buff-bellied Pipit of the asian race 'japonicus'. It was rather secretive in the vegetation but eventually gave itself up for some great views and photographs.

Desert Wheatear, Al Abraq

Al Abraq

Black-headed Wagtail, Al Abraq

Tawny Pipit, Al Abraq

Buff-bellied Pipit, Al Abraq

Buff-bellied Pipit, Al Abraq

With the weather deteriorating we left Al Abraq and headed back to the bright lights of the city and once more to Jahra Pools. Migrants were clearly starting to move through as things were a little more lively than our previous visit. 9+ Marsh Sandpipers, Common and Green Sandpiper, 4 Little Stints, Dunlin and Avocet were new arrivals. 200+ Spanish Sparrows flew back and forth over the reeds, Bluethroat was again present as were Moustached Warbler, Graceful Prinia, Water Pipit, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier and increased numbers of Swallows, House Martins and Pallid Swifts. Along the back track a pair of Siberian Stonechats showed extremely well.

Siberian Stonechat, Jahra Pools

Siberian Stonechat, Jahra Pools
A quick look at Jahra Farms again, in the pouring rain was predictably unproductive. But we lived to fight anther day...

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