Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A morning walk, Dec 21st 2011

December 21st I went out for some little adventure.

The day before I got brief access to one of the private beaches here at the Mahboula coastline.
There were at least 100 Black-headed and Slender-billed Gulls. It was beautiful (no camera though).
I was sitting at the edge of the beach for a while until the security guard told me, I eventually have to leave.

There was also the exit of one of the sewer drainages, where (correct me, if I'm wrong) raw waste water runs into the ocean.

All the construction around here on the streets is for new sewage pipes. But they still don't lead to a water treatment plant.

Abandoned vehicles are a normal sight in Kuwait, so is trash in the streets. Corners like the above get cleaned up every once in a while. The construction is for a new sewer system (which still leads to the ocean).
From Kuwait

They lead to this piece of (private) beach I found on the 21st.

One of the private beaches in Mahboula and some of the residences along the coast that are abandoned and some new ones built in front of them. That huge complex is empty since years, they are still building it...
From Kuwait

Big construction on new houses and the new pipes going on there, so I snuck my way in. Walked on the pier briefly, snapped some shots (not from the construction, I don't want to be marked as a terrorist or spy).

From Birds Kuwait 2011

It's another beautiful spot. This one was resting ground for only a few Black-headed Gulls,

From Birds Kuwait 2011

one that was maybe a Caspian or Heuglin's Gull

From Birds Kuwait 2011
From Birds Kuwait 2011

and a bunch of Great Cormorants

From Birds Kuwait 2011
From Birds Kuwait 2011

and one not so common Grey Heron. I've seen a Grey Heron around Mangaf and Mahboula since we got back in 2010. I wonder if he is just staying around or if it's various young fellows stopping by.

From Birds Kuwait 2011

They all got spooked by a fisherman, dropping his nests where the Cormorants had been resting.

I've seen over 100 Cormorants fly by the other day, one flock of 10-20 after another.
Sights like that always lift my spirits and make me sad at the same time, knowing what these birds have to deal with here in Kuwait.
Polluted beaches, polluted water and illegal hunting.

Here's hope that 2012 will be a year of progress and better education.

This is a video by K's path (made by John and Angelique). It sums up very nicely what we are up against here in Kuwait:

Marine Conservation 2012 from john peaveler on Vimeo.


I checked google maps and there actually is a huge water treatment plant in Kuwait.
Now, how comes that the stuff that comes out of there and floats into the ocean still smells raw?
Mind, you don't see toilet paper or other 'things' floating around, but still.

And one more closer to 'home'.


Posted for World Bird Wednesday - check out the wonderful posts from around the Globe!


  1. glad you got to see a bit of the private beach area, but worried about you getting in trouble for it! the state of the sewage system is so disheartening! i know you've reported your beach cleanup efforts many times on your blog, but the video shows just how dire the situation is, and how those efforts are continually needed. i can only imagine how this problem continues to grow.

  2. What beautiful place to walk and photograph. I hope they weren't dumping raw sewage into the ocean!

  3. The scenes of the sea and birds are beautiful but from what you say it would not be good to look at it too closely! Incredible what modern construction puts up with behind the scenes.

  4. Great post and photos, Nicole! It is a shame about the pollution and trash. I do love the shot of the cormorants resting. Happy Birding and have a great week!

  5. Hi there - what a combination of good images and foul ones!

    "The Earth's not a litter bin" - is anybody listening??

    Cheers - Stewart M

  6. It's heartbreaking to see such pollution on a scale like this Nicole.
    Thank goodness for all the people associated with K'Path.

  7. Gulls and herons are so great to watch, but the pollution is a shame!

  8. You have lots of cormorants. I think they are nice birds. :)

  9. Great post showing both the good and the bad, we still have a similar in picturesque Staithes on the east coast believe it or not.

  10. Many thanks for sharing this post Nicole...

  11. That effluent sounds worrying. I would not like to swim anywhere near it.
    Nice sighting of birds and shot of flying heron.

  12. Beautiful bird shots -- one can only hope that conditions improve for them (and people too).

  13. I am sad to see all that waste, all that trash that is being dumped into the ocean and ending up on beaches. Plastic is the scourge of progress; it lasts forever, and no accounting tallies up the ultimate cost to the environment. Cleaning up ought to be figured into the production and the ultimate cost to the buyer - maybe that will reduce the waste. :-(

  14. @TWG
    No worries, I'll be fine. :-)
    I can't fully wrap my head around how the sewage thing works here (see update). Maybe one day I will.

    So do I!

    No, a closer look makes you sad and angry :(

    @Sree & Eileen - Thanks!

    The ones responsible? Nope, I doubt they are listening.

    It's a long way, but maybe along that way more people wake up.

    @Joo - yup!

    @Nature Footsteps - yep, I like to watch them too :-)

    Hard to believe, but I believe you


    Me neither. But people did even swim at a beach near a big oil spill...

    One big hope

    It would be great it it would result in that.
    In Germany you pay 25Cent per plastic bag and I still so so many people buy them while shopping.
    Or throwing plastic bottles away. There's also 25cent on every bottle if you return them.

  15. Amazing post Nicole. What you go through to see a few birds humbles me. There must be a built in mechanism in our minds that craves the beauty and community of the bird kingdom. Razor wire, abandoned buildings, trash everywhere, and having to brave the accusation of being a spy or worse is a tough gauntlet to run. A stunning piece of photobloging here!
    Happy New Year to you.