Thursday 29 January 2015

Jahra Pools

Markus Craig took me to Jahra pools in Kuwait on late Saturday afternoon. This is a fascinating artificial wetland close to the sea. It reminded me a lot of Jubail in eastern Saudi Arabia which is about 250 kilometres further south on the Persian gulf.

Both places have resident purple swamphen.

Purple swamphen

Both have a large number of herons. This time there were western reef heron, grey heron and great white egret present.

grey heron

There was a large variety of ducks present at Jahra pools. These included ferruginous duck,  gadwell, garganey, pintail, tufted duck and wigeon.

ferruginous duck

The ducks seemed more advanced with their breeding plumage than the birds down near Salalah which I normally bird. For example, all our gadwell are still in winter plumage.

gadwell (left)

We spent a little time looking in reeds at one spot for the smaller birds. We spotted bluethroat, graceful prinia and chiffchaff. Unfortunately the cetti warbler did not show. Markus told me this is a good place to see basra reed warbler for part of the year and that they may even breed there.

graceful prinia

The scrub land and coastal land adjacent to the pools also had interesting birds. Two common snipe and a jack snipe flushed in one area. Overhead two common swift flew over.

Daurian shrike

Elsewhere, on scrub land a Daurian shrike was perched. Two marsh harrier were patrolling all over.

greater spotted eagle

The last bird before sunset and the last of my trip was a greater spotted eagle.

Over the weekend I put 73 species on my brand new Kuwait list and gained 3 lifers. None of this would have been possible without the hospitality of Markus Craig and Mike Pope.

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