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 :)






Birdcount:


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)