Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Neighbourhood birds & plants, Mahboula

Some quick snaps from yesterdays dog walk to show you a bit of the 'wildlife' that's currently available in my beautiful neighbourhood ;-)

The usual criminals 

House sparrow, Passer domesticus
From Birds Kuwait 2011
White-eared Bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys
From Birds Kuwait 2011
These guys are usually migrants, but some fellows stay over winter it seems.
We have around three of them staying here. 
I thought I saw a Northern Wheatear the other day, but I am not 100% sure.

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba
From Birds Kuwait 2011
This fellow was a bit strange. He didn't wag his tail at all. I've never seen a waggy before,
 not wagging it's tail.

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba
From Birds Kuwait 2011

We have some bats around too. At least two species.
I doubt I will ever catch a photo of them though ;-)

Water sources

From Kuwait
From Kuwait
From Kuwait

Some plants that grow wherever you find some water

From Kuwait

Some trees that survive the harshest conditions & trash surrounding them, the construction that goes on around here (new sewer system - the exit still seems to lead to the ocean, new streets, new houses - like we really need more. Yes, the skies are actually this blue right now. But it was very windy yesterday and the dust pretty bad. I got my nasty cough back. Either a virus or the dang dust.

From Kuwait
Stray cats and dogs in abundance - King & JoJo wanted to get this one, but she somewhat
knew she was save in the dense undergrowth of the trees

From Kuwait
From The kids
From The kids
Something to smile ;-)

From Kuwait
From Kuwait

Posted for 'World Bird Wednesday' - hop on over to see the world

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kuwait Biodiversity on Project Noah

Just created the first mission on Project Noah :-)

Come and join me to show that Kuwait actually has some Beauty!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Qaru island, Kuwait - Beach clean-up Dec 23rd 2011

A small island off the coast of Kuwait, near the Saudi border. The Coast guard is stationed there and birds use it as a resting ground during migration and breeding there during summer. It is also important for the ongoing turtle conservation program. Any help on IDs of the (mostly dead) animals is welcome! Bird count of the day: Approx 5 Black-headed Gulls, 1 or 2 Caspian or Heuglin's Gulls (one oiled), 1 Ringed Plover, 8 House Sparrows
For the ones interested, some Info on the Turtle Conservation project

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beach Bird morning

Spent some time at the beach this morning. Nice bird flybys and nice sunrise

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

I watched a family of Common Mynas take a McD breakfast and sip some water – at least trash and Leftovers seem to be good for some and something, sometimes.

From Birds Kuwait 2011

King won a fight with a stray who wanted to show his female companions who’s the owner of the beach. No dogs got harmed & they went back to their own stretch after a while.

From The kids
From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Kuwait

Birdcount: 64 Greater Cormorants, 75 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Grey Heron, 5 Common Myna, 2 Greater Sand Plover, 1 Kentish Plover, 3 White Wagtails, 9 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Northern Wheatear, 15 Slender-billed and one possible Caspian or Heuglin’s Gull, 1 White-eared Bulbul, 23 House Sparrows on my way home 2 Rose-ringed Parakeet

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Um Al Maradin, Island beach clean-up, Dec 9th 2011

First clean-up for me since I am back and I lucked out to get a place on the island trip to Um al Maradim (uhoh, there's even an entry on wiki :)). A tiny speck of land in the middle of nowhere, serving as a Coastguard post and can be visited only with a special permission. That doesn't stop a bunch of fishing boats from circling the island, there were at least 15 of them.

The island is quite important for migrating birds as a stopover and for some birds as a breeding ground.

This was the second clean-up on this island. Due to the currents (I guess) and the visiting boats, a lot of trash gets on the beaches with the tide. Including dead sheep, 7 of them. Dumped, most likely, by big animal transports who don't want to have sick or dead sheep aboard when they reach port. It's scary to think of all the trash floating in our oceans... We also found 3 dead birds. Two in a state of decay beyond ID-ing and 1 a possible Steppe Buzzard.

We collected altogether 33 big black trash bags full of plastic bottles, Styrofoam, cans and other plastics, household stuff, fishing lines and hooks, kids balloons (I know why I don't like those things), ropes and half a rubber boat. There's also tires and a big pile of pallets that we couldn't remove.

The Kuwait Dive team took us to the island. They helped burying some of the sheep above the tide line. The team of K's Path, including John the manager whom I met for the first time, was there and the girls did a good job organizing the whole trip. Thanks for doing this! A big thanks also to the chief (?) of the Coastguards who had a big, yummy Lunch prepped for us when we were finished with the clean-up :)


At the Marina

8 Cormorant, 2 Slender-billed Gull, 4 Black-headed Gull, 3 White-eared Bulbul

Um al-Maradim island

1 Northern Wheatear (1st wt), 3 Greater Sand Plover Plover, 6 Kentish Plover, 15 (Great) Cormorant (6 Juv.) - flying over, 9+ House Sparrow, 1 1st wt Caspian Gull (possibly more), 4 Black-headed Gull, 1 White-eared Bulbul (voice)

Friday, December 9, 2011

A morning at the beach, Dec 8th

Caught my first sunrise at the beach this morning. Was up way too early and had to kill time at home (you don’t want to be at the beach in the dark…), check the sunrise times and then almost missed out on the glorious pre-sunrise colours ;)
Most exciting sightings were a Flamingo flyby and a Grey Plover.
Sadly the birds were all gone (thanks to someone walking around) when the light finally got better for my lens & camera skills ;) - I hope you can enjoy them anyway.

From Kuwait

From Kuwait

From Kuwait

From Kuwait

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

From Birds Kuwait 2011

Bird count:
2 Cormorant, 2 Reef Egret (dark and white morph), 31 Black headed Gull (at least two oiled), 2 Caspian Gull, 1 Flamingo (flyby), 2 Greater Sand Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Kentish Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 10 White Wagtail, 2 White-eared Bulbul, 9 House Sparrows, 17 Laughing Doves, 2 Common Myna

Monday, December 5, 2011

Good-bye Germany

For now :-).

Have left Germany last Saturday and am back in Kuwait. Everyone is whining that it’s so cold here, even my dear husband.

I am happy that it’s not 55C and blazing hot, neither is it dusty right now. The sky is a crystal blue and the air fresh and crispy. Perfectly fine with me.

Will post some new shots another day.
For today, we’ll have some gloomy shots from German forests with a Marsh tit (a Lifer for me), a Nuthatch and a Jay (can you believe that I forgot the English names for the last two?! But Bavarian Birds‘ translation tool helped me out once again).
From Birds 2011 Germany

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birdlist 2011

Germany 2011


Kuwait 2011


Birds seen in Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai & Germany:

Black Kite (Kuwait)
Pallid Harrier (Kuwait)
Booted Eagle (dark form) (Kuwait)
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Kuwait)
Steppe Buzzard (Kuwait)
Montagu's Harrier (male & female) (Kuwait)
Red Kite, Rotmilan, Milvus milvus (Germany)
Osprey (Bahrain)

Tufted Duck (Germany)
Mallard (Germany)
Common Pochard (Germany)

Pallid Swift (Kuwait)
Common Swift (Kuwait)

Black-bellied Plover (Grey) (Bahrain)
Lesser Sand-Plover (Bahrain)
Greater Sand-Plover (Bahrain + Kuwait)
Snowy Plover (Kentish) (Bahrain)
Ringed Plover (Kuwait)
Little Ringed Plover (Kuwait)
Red-wattled Plover (Dubai)
Kentish Plover (Kuwait)
Grey Plover (Kuwait)
Collared Pratincole (Kuwait)
Black-winged Pratincole (Kuwait)
Cream coloured Coursor
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Kuwait)
Black-winged Stilt (Kuwait)
Common Greenshank (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Common Redshank (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Eurasian Curlew (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Curlew Sandpiper (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Dunlin (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Common Sandpiper (Kuwait)
Ruff (Kuwait)
Whimbrel (Kuwait)
Green Sandpiper (Kuwait)
Wood Sandpiper (Kuwait)
Bar-tailed Godwit (Kuwait)
Ruddy Turnstone (Kuwait)
Terek Sandpiper (Kuwait)
Slender-billed Gull (Bahrain + Kuwait)
Black-headed Gull (Bahrain + Kuwait)
Caspian Gull (Bahrain + Kuwait)
 Sub. Steppe Gull (Kuwait)
Heuglin’s Gull (Lesser Black-backed Gull) (Kuwait)
Pallas’s Gull (Great Black-headed Gull) (Kuwait)
Lesser Crested Tern (Bahrain)
Caspian Tern (Kuwait)
Sandwich Tern (Kuwait)
Whiskered Tern (Kuwait)
Gull-billed Tern (Kuwait)
Common Tern (Kuwait)
Little Tern, Zwergseeschwalbe, Sterna albifrons (Kuwait)

Grey Heron (Bahrain & Kuwait & Germany)
Western Reef-Heron (White & dark Morph) (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Nachtreiher
Squacco Heron (Kuwait)
Little Egret (Kuwait)
Cattle Egret (Dubai & Kuwait)
White Stork (Kuwait)

Laughing dove (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Namaqua Dove (Kuwait)
Common wood pigeon, Ringeltaube, Columba palumbus (Germany)

White-throated Kingfisher (Kuwait)
Common Kingfisher, Eisvogel, Alcedo atthis (Germany)
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Kuwait)
European Bee-Eater (Kuwait)
Eurasian Hoopoe (Kuwait)

Spotted Crake (Kuwait)
Coot (Germany)

Lesser Kestrel (Kuwait)
Common Kestrel (Kuwait & Germany)


Crested Lark (Bahrain)
House Crow (Kuwait & Dubai – both times most likely Indian)
Magpie (Black-billed Magpie), Elster, Pica pica (Germany)
Ortolan Bunting (Kuwait)
Indian Silverbill (Dubai)
Barn Swallow (Kuwait & Germany)
Sand Martin (Kuwait)
House Martin (Kuwait)
Crag Martin (Kuwait)
Isabelline Shrike (Kuwait)
-> & Turkestan Shrike (Kuwait)
-> & Daurian Shrike (Kuwait)
Woodchat Shrike (Kuwait)
Masked Shrike (Kuwait) 
Red-backed Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike (Kuwait)
Grey Wagtail (Kuwait)
White wagtail (Bahrain & Kuwait & Germany)
Yellow Wagtail (feldegg & flava & flavissima & dombrowskii & lutea   & ema ) (Kuwait)
Water Pipit (Kuwait)
-> Subsp. Coutellii (Kuwait)
Red-throated Pipit (Kuwait)
Tawny Pipit (Kuwait)
Tree Pipit (Kuwait)
Spotted Flycatcher (Kuwait)
Semicollared Flycatcher (female Kuwait)
Purple Sunbird (Dubai)
Golden Oriole (Eurasian) (Kuwait)
House sparrow (Bahrain & Kuwait & Germany)
Pale Rock Sparrow (Pale Rockfinch) (Kuwait)
Red-vented Bulbul (Bahrain & Dubai)
White-eared Bulbul (Kuwait)
Common Myna (Kuwait)
Common (European) Starling (Kuwait & Germany)
Common Chiffchaff (Kuwait / Germany)
Willow Warbler (Kuwait)
Lesser Whitethroat (Kuwait)
Desert Warbler (Asian) (Kuwait)
Great Reed Warbler (Kuwait)
Basra Reed Warbler (Kuwait)
Blackcap (Juv or fem & adult male) (Kuwait)
Whitethroat, subsp. Icterops  (Kuwait)
Barred Warbler (Kuwait)
Graceful Prinia (Kuwait)
Isabelline Wheatear (Kuwait)
Blue Rock Thrush (Kuwait)
Stonechat (Kuwait male & female)
Rock Thrush (Rufous-tailed) (Kuwait)
Pied Wheatear (Kuwait)
-> & var. 'vittata'
Black-eared Wheatear (Kuwait)
-> and 1 Pale-throated Morph of BEW Melanoleuca (Kuwait male & female)
Northern Wheatear (Kuwait)
Mourning Wheatear (Kuwait)
Common Redstart - Subsp. samamisicus (Kuwait)
Rufous Bush-Robin (Kuwait)
Black Redstart (Kuwait & Germany)
White-throated Robin (male & 1st wt) (Kuwait)
Whinchat (male) (Kuwait)
Blackbird (Common), Amsel, Turdus merula (Germany)
European Robin, Rotkehlchen, Erithacus rubecula (Germany)
Great Tit, Kohlmeise, Parus major  (Germany)
Marsh Tit (Germany)
Coal Tit (Germany)
Dipper (White-throated Dipper), Wasseramsel, Cinclus cinclus (Germany)
Nuthatch, Kleiber, Sitta Europaea (Germany)
European Jay, Eichelhäher, Garrulus glandarius (Germany)
Carrion Crow, Rabenkrähe (Aaskrähe), Corvus corone (Germany)
Chaffinch, Buchfink, Fringilla coelebs (Germany)

Yellowhammer, Goldammer, Emberiza citronella (Germany)

(Great) Cormorant (Bahrain & Kuwait)
 & maybe  Subsp. sinensis (Kuwait)

Wryneck (Kuwait)
Black Woodpecker, Schwarzspecht, Dryocopus martius (Germany)
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buntspecht, Dendrocopus major (Germany)
Greater Flamingo (Bahrain & Kuwait)
Rose ringed Parakeet (Kuwait & Dubai)
Mallard, Stockente, Anas platyrhynchos (Germany)
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buntspecht, Dendrocopus major (Germany)
Chaffinch, Buchfink, Fringilla coelebs (Germany)

Great Crested Grebe, Haubentaucher, Podiceps cristatus (Germany)

Total:      146

Red crested Pochard Mallard Hybrid (Germany)