Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City Kuwait

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 in the various phases including beaches and newly created island habitats. This Spring has been very encouraging with many new species added to the project checklist.

Wader numbers will slowly increase over the coming weeks and Kentish Plovers will have already bred. This month, there have been numbers of Little Stints (Calidris minuta)

Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City Kuwait
Little Stint

As well as a few Sanderling (Calidris alba); note the lack of hind toe that is a good identification feature

Sanderling 8058
Sanderling

Whinchat’s (Saxicola rubetra) seem to be found everywhere in April and no exception in Sea City. Observations indicate that males are more prevalent

Whinchat male 8000
Male Whinchat

than females

Whinchat female 8008
Female Whinchat

Turkestan Shrikes (Lanius phoenicuroides) outnumber

TurkShrike 8066
Turkestan Shrike

Daurian Shrikes (Lanius isabellinus) around 70:30

DShrike 7702
Daurian Shrike

A single Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus) was also seen

MasShrike 7753
Masked Shrike

And Lesser Grey Shrikes (Lanius minor) made a welcome return

LGShrike 8080
Lesser Grey Shrike

Flowering Bottlebrush were a magnet for Eurasian Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla)

EBlackcap 7720
Eurasian Blackcap

And Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)

LWhitethroat 7731
Lesser Whitethroat

Warbler seen so far included Upchers and this Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria)

BarWarbler 8060
Barred Warbler

Other spring passerines included a few female Ehrenbergs Redstarts (Phoenicurus p. sammamisicus), note the pale wing patch which is an identification feature of this ssp

ERedstart 7714
Female Ehrenberg’s Redstart

and a male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

CRedstart 809
Male Common Redstart

Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

EWryneck 7790
Eurasian Wryneck

Numbers of White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)

WTRobin 7697
White-throated Robin

and a few Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)

RTSRobin 7800
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

One of myfavourite’s, is the male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)

RTRThrush 7813
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

In the desert area, I found Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

RTPipit 7802
Red-throated Pipit

And a few female Pied Wheatear’s (Oenanthe pleschanka) . I suspect there is sexual segregation in migratory pattern of Pied Wheatear, as the male birds arrived and have already departed a few weeks ago

PiedWheat 7778
Female Pied Wheatear

Sadly, even in this pristine environment, shooting of migratory birds continues like a plague wherever migratory birds are found. This is something we are trying to address through awareness. But, this epidemic really needs legislation and enforcement to be fully effective and to offer migratory birds some protection.

Shooting 7755
The dark side of spring migration

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.

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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.

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