Michael Pope

Michael Pope

A South African ex-pat who currently resides in Kuwait with his family since October 2006 and maintains a full time job as an IT Project Manager delivering and implementing projects in Kuwait and the GCC. An avid naturalist with an interest in wildlife and conservation that started early in his schooling when he was selected to spend a week in Londolozi Game Reserve learning about Conservation and Game Ranger principals. That week had a profound impact, the seed was sown and a passion for birds, photography, wildlife, biodiversity and conservation was instilled.
He has travelled and explored the length and breadth of South and Southern Africa in search of birds, Aside from birds, he photographs landscapes, mammals, reptiles and just about any living creature he can get in front of his lens. Since arriving in Kuwait has also explored many other countries expanding his list and knowledge. In Kuwait his passion for birding, photography and highlighting the need for conservation and protection of migratory birds has continued and this is showcased on his Kuwait Birding Blog http://kuwaitbirding.blogspot.com/) . In early 2008 he was proposed as and still is Chairman of Kuwait Ornithological Records Committee. However, a personal achievement of his birding tenure in Kuwait is Co-editor for the milestone publication of “Birds of Kuwait – A Comprehensive Visual Guide” in collaboration with BioDiversity East and KUFPEC.

Dec 112013
 
Black Kites of Kuwait

We have had some discussions about the possibility of Black-eared Kite in Kuwait, especially the wintering birds. We do understand that there is still much discussion and research going on with this taxa and of course there is the possibility of hybrids. I found an interesting article on Identification of Black-eared Kites by Dick Forsman […]

Dec 032013
 
Mega's, Vagrants and Rarities in Kuwait

It has been quite some time since my last post. Following a low depression in Arabia in late November that brought more than above average rainfall at this time of the year to the Region, some great birds were recorded in Kuwait. The one species was a vagrant and a 1st for Kuwait that has […]

Sep 032013
 
Early Autumn Migration in Kuwait

Early August is the anticipated start of the annual Autumn migration when birds have completed their breeding season in Europe and both adult and juvenile birds start moving south to various parts of Africa for the second part of their endless summer. Kuwait is fortunate to be situated on two of the key migration flyways; […]

Jul 282013
 
Jahra Pools Reserve, Kuwait

Summer in Kuwait is searing hot and is traditionally a quiet birding month, however in late Spring we do have some species breeding at the Pools and mid-summer we have many Tern species breeding on the off-shore islands. Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius) have remained through the Spring and Summer and are suspected to be […]

Jul 132013
 
Rarities and Early Migrants at Jahra Pools Reserve, Kuwait

Jahra Pools Reserve (JPR) is a small fenced wetland reserve just off the Arabian Gulf coastline to the north of Kuwait City. Previously the pools were formed from a sewage outfall, but more recently a water network has been provided and this has allowed the pools to remain filled since the end of 2012. As […]

Jul 072013
 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - continued...

Following my visit to the Rub’ Al-Khali, I returned to Dhahran which would be my base for the next few days. There were a few typical urban birds as well as some others of interest in and around the compound and some of the more open areas. Here is a selection of the common urban […]

Jul 072013
 
Rubʿ al-Khali; The Empty Quarter

At the start of this year I visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was fortunate to spend a few days at Shaybah in the northeastern edge of this, the world’s largest desert. This region is classified as ‘hyper-arid’ with typical rainfall of less than 30mm per year and is one of the driest regions […]

Jun 022013
 
A few days in Sharjah, UAE

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to represent Kuwait at the 14th Conservation Workshop for the Biodiversity of Arabia. I am pleased to report that the bird team was able to achieve the workshop objective of assessing the regional Red List of all the breeding birds of Arabia. On the last day of the workshop, […]

May 122013
 
The Inter-tidal Mudskippers of Kuwait

There are often quiet times in between coastal birding, especially during low-tide when the sea appears to fade away in the shimmering distance. However, if you look more closely on the mud flats during low tide, you will find some interesting species and for this post these are inter-tidal Mudskippers; a fascinating species in their […]

Apr 222013
 
A Smörgåsbord of Motacilla's

Spring has truly sprung in Kuwait and the the diversity and migrants heading north is amazing and always appreciated, more so because many birds are already sporting their breeding colours. The White Wagtails that were present all winter, have now given way to an array of Yellow Wagtails in a variety of sub-species. In Kuwait […]

Apr 162013
 
Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City Kuwait

Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City is a massive project underway in the south of Kuwait very close to the Saudi Arabian border. It is the first of it’s kind in Kuwait and has even been featured as a documentary on BBC. I visit the project a number of times each month to survey the birds […]

Apr 162013
 
The making of a Photographer

My 10-year old son Jaden had been asking to go birding and wanting to take some images of his own. There was an upcoming Photographic competition in the UK, so a good reason for him to try and get images for the Junior category. Jahra Pools Reserve is a small inland reserve in Kuwait with […]

Apr 162013
 
Kuwait's Northern Islands - Boubyan and Warba

I was able to arrange a trip with a small group to conduct a Cetacean Survey around Boubyan and Warba Island (which are in a restricted area of the northern Arabian Gulf) and at the same time look for sea birds. As with all adventures, you can plan all the detail; but the weather is […]