I am beginning to regret my New Year’s List resolution to use scheduled public transport or my own energies to build an annual total. 45°C of heat and a bicycle do not make a good combination. No-one had used the flying club’s bicycles for a year and the concierge had forgotten where he had put them. Once he eventually found them, he couldn’t release the lock as he had also forgotten the combination. The brakes were broken, so we had to release the other bike which had flat tyres.
All of this kerfuffle wasted about 40 minutes and when I arrived at Erado Square Beach, the tide had begun to recede and the birds were moving away from the promenade and my camera. This may make it sound as if the concierge was somehow at fault, but perhaps if my sense of direction had been more reliable, I would not have struck out at 90° to my intended direction.
The beach at Erada Square (Google Earth ref; 29°22'7.31"N 47°57'38.37"E ) was not my planned destination, but since I found myself there and there were birds, I stopped. The tide was ebbing gently back into the almost perfectly flat Kuwait Bay. Tiny ripples lapped about 10 meters from the promenade and birds could be seen scuttling among the small rocks. Greater Sand Plovers and Kentish Plovers were first with Curlew Sandpipers and Common Ringed Plovers further along to my left, south-west.
A Sandwich Tern roosted on the exposed mud and White-cheeked Terns patrolled close to the water’s edge. A number of Larus-type gulls were seen, but it was difficult to identify them straight away. After much viewing, photographing and comparison with my field guide, I decided upon Caspian Gull, but I am expecting a query from eBird.
The promenade leads past a boating ramp and opens up to another beach beyond. Gulls and terns were roosting on the wet sand here with other birds such as European Oystercatcher and Whimbrel seen in the distance.
Back in the opposite direction, the path comes to an end at the palace. A small beach here provides a popular roosting spot for the gulls, but I felt a little uneasy peering through my binoculars and taking pictures towards the palace's defences.
Western Reef Heron 4, Greater Sand-plover 15, Kentish Plover 15, Common Ringed Plover 12, Eurasian Oystercatcher 1, Terek Sandpiper 6, Common Sandpiper 6, Common Redshank 1, Whimbrel 4, Ruddy Turnstone 6, Sanderling 4, Curlew Sandpiper4, Slender-billed Gull 10, Caspian Gull 40, Little Tern 1, White-cheeked Tern 2, Sandwich Tern 2, Eurasian Collared Dove 40, Laughing Dove 15, Eurasian Hoopoe 1, Barn Swallow 1, White-eared Bulbul 60, House Sparrow 120.
Visit the dedicated Middle East Page for more from the region including Safa Park, Dubai and Qurm Natural Park in Muscat.