Monday 21 October 2019

Kuwait - Part 5

Today was pelagic day. We had our usual 5.30am start. Nick did the long drive down to Al Khiran port where we were joined by four other Danish birders.
By the time we had breakfast and set sail from the quay it was gone 8am. However, it didn't take long before we met up with a mixed flock of feeding terns which consisted of Lesser Crested, Bridled and White-cheeked - the latter two being lifers!

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Bridled Tern - happily floating along on his very own piece of wood :-)

Fly-by Bridled Tern

White-cheeked Tern
We made several detours around various marker buoys and platforms looking for more terns adding Greater Crested to our trip list in the process.
Abdulrahman had organised for us to stop-off on several small islands that were good for migrants. At the first one we ditched the boat up onto the beach and within a one hour walk-about on the island we encountered literally hundreds of Common Redstarts (though no Ehrenberg's amongst them - evidently they had already moved through). We also had Isabelline, Pied and Northern Wheatears and three species of Shrike (Turkestan, Woodchat and the one and only Steppe Grey Shrike of the trip).
The second island was even more exciting, aside from more Common Redstarts, Pied and Isabelline Wheatears. We had a superb male White-throated Robin, Hoopoe, a possible Hume's Whitethroat that we never quite nailed and bird of the trip (possibly) in a White-headed (leucocephala) Wagtail.

White-headed Yellow Wagtail
Time was getting on at this stage so we all needed to get back on the boat and head back to port. But lastly we needed to find Socotra Cormorant. Thankfully Abdulrahman knew where to look and we needed only a minor detour to catch up with this species. I can't say I was that excited by it but as I understand its difficult indeed to see the species anywhere else in the Western Palearctic so maybe someday I'll be glad I ticked it.

Socotra Cormorant - right hand bird with distinctive neck shape (left hand bird being Great Cormorant)
From there we headed back to port and back into Kuwait city where I wolfed down a quick meal in my hotel room before it was lights out!

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