Kuwait - Day 6, 10 April 2011, Green Island, Jahra Farms, Doha Spit, Sulaibikhat and Jahra Pools

The last day of the tour and time to visit the one remaining site we'd not yet been to - Green Island. Brian's visiting friend Andy joined us for the morning as Brian was at work. Upon arrival we were greeted by the all too familiar unhelpfulness of Kuwaiti gate security who insisted we could enter until 08.00. To kill an hour or so we decided to check the nearby seafront area and were glad we did because a splendid male Cinereous Bunting was found along the promenade with an Ortolan plus a pale throated Black-eared Wheatear and the usual Common Mynas. Eventually we we granted access and quickly located our main target species - Red-vented Bulbul with its much commoner cousin White-cheeked Bulbul. Several migrants were found, mainly around the bottlebrush trees near the entrance which were alive with c30 Lesser Whitethroats from which we managed to find 1-2 Eastern Orphean Warblers, 1 Barred Warbler and several Blackcaps. Around the island were also a Hoopoe, 2 Redstarts, Tree and Red-throated Pipits, Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike and a couple of Pied Wheatears. Of great interest were also a nesting pair of Ruppell's Weavers which are now in their 2nd year and hopefully destined for category C! The numbers of Grey Hypocolious passing through were hugely impressive with the group notching up 39 individuals.

Cinereous Bunting, near Green Island

Cinereous Bunting, near Green Island

Common Mynas, Green Island

Eastern Orphean Warbler, Green Island

Laughing Dove, near Green Island

Ortolan, near Green Island

Redstart, Green Island

Ruppell's Weaver, Green Island

Ruppell's Weaver, Green Island

Ruppell's Weaver, Green Island

White-cheeked Bulbul, Green Island

With migrants around we opted for a check of Jahra Farms next. Amongst the usual pipits and wagtails were c8 Redstarts, a male Semi-collared Flycatcher (presumably the same as on 5th as it was in the exact same spot), singles of Masked Shrike, Grey Hypocolious, Grey Wagtail, White-breasted Kingfisher and best of all a lovely 1st summer male Rock Thrush. As usual Bank Mynas, Cattle Egrets and Squacco Herons were also in evidence.

Cattle Egret, Jahra Farms

Grey Wagtail, Jahra Farms

Rock Thrush, Jahra Farms

Next up was a return visit to Doha Spit for another gawp at the waders. The species were the same as the previous day but it was interesting to note that the numbers of Lesser Sandplovers had dropped to about 200 whereas Curlew Sandpiper numbers were significantly up. Osprey was seen once again as was a single Asian Desert Warbler , a dark throated Black-eared Wheatear and a couple of Lesser Crested Terns.

The group had not visited the little local nature reserve at Sulaibikhat yet so we made a very quick stop here as we passed. A male Menetries's Warbler was a very welcome new bird for Andy who also had a White-throated Robin. Also seen were Graceful Prinias and the only Common Whitethroat of the week (race icterops).

As our final port of call for the whole tour we all agreed on Jahra Pools once more. We were greeted by a newly arrived Turtle Dove along the entrance track whilst waders included c8 Red-necked Phalaropes, c5 Wood Sandpipers, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and 2 Marsh Sandpipers. Baillon's and Spotted Crakes were seen once again whilst 3 Glossy Ibis circled in and at least 2 Grey-headed Swamphens strode around between the reeds. Passerines included a female Bluethroat, Siberian Stonechat, a singing Moustached Warbler, Southern, Daurian and Turkestan Shrikes and to end a memorable tour a Penduline Tit picked out by the German guys in the fading light. 

Grey-headed Swamphen, Jahra Pools

Siberian Stonechat, Jahra Pools

Turtle Dove, Jahra Pools
Our HUGE thanks to all our 2011 tour members and our friends in Kuwait for making it another highly successful and enjoyable trip.

Click here for a great selection of photos by Austrian birder Seppi Ringert 

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