Spring migration in Kuwait is in full force and migrants are literally everywhere – foraging, resting and passing by overhead.
Al Abraq is a very small dot of green in a vast expanse of open desert in the far west of Kuwait. It is a working oasis and an absolute magnet for migratory birds that probably use Wadi Batin as a visual aid during their epic migratory journeys. Sadly, this magnet is also known by the big numbers of shooters, the only upside (if there is any) is that they are not allowed inside the boundary of this small farm. The farm provides quite diverse habitat from the cultivated crops to some virgin desert habitat and as a result, it provides both food, water and shade to rest for most species to use during migration. It is a fair drive from Kuwait City and you can either have a great day or find that you just had a long drive for little reward.
However, during migration you are seldom disappointed and so it was on this visit with many birds seen and heard during the morning’s visit.
Common Redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) add a splash of colour
The Common Redstart spp Ehrenberg’s Redstart (Phoenicurus p. sammamisicus) was also present; note the pale wing panel that is diagnostic.
There were many male Semi-collared Flycatchers (Ficedula semitorquata) seen
But only one female
Eurasian Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) were prevalent in the acacia trees and most were males.
A femaleMénétriés’s Warbler (Sylvia mystacea) was seen out in the open
Walking around the crops, we found both European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
and Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
There is a small pond near the entrance of the farm and I was thrilled to finally see and photograph a Caucasian Bluethroat (Luscinia s. magna)
Just as we were about to leave, a male Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) drifted by overhead