Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lesser flamingo at the Sulaibikhat outfall

Before dusk on Friday afternoon, Kuwait-based birder Mike Pope kindly showed me the Sulaibikhat outfall for a short birding session.

I was lucky enough to see a lesser flamingo out of the over 5,000 flamingo that have been counted to winter in Kuwait.

lesser flamingo (right)

As we saw flocks of flamingo flying around in the half light, Mike warned me to look out for the one known lesser flamingo.

flamingo in flight

It would have been very difficult to pick one out lesser flamingo in the flocks in the air. however we got lucky. A relatively small flock landed around the bay and it was almost immediately obvious that one of them was the lesser flamingo.

sleeping flamingoes

Furthermore, many of the flamingoes went to sleep on landing. We had to watch until the lesser flamingo woke up. 

Mike told me a lesser flamingo has wintered in Kuwait in  2010/11, 2012/13, and now 2014/15. It is probably the same bird.

crab plover

Near-by were a group of crab plover.

western reef heron with a black headed gull

Next to the outfall itself were some western reef heron and hundreds of gulls which were mostly black-headed gull.

common redshank with pigeon

There were relatively few waders. There were four common redshank and a single dunlin. Once again the coastline had plenty of pigeon.

This short session was rewarding. It was prelude to Saturday's full day session which brought me another lifer and several northern wintering birds which are rarely seen in other parts of the Arabian gulf. I will blog about them next.

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