Monday 3 September 2012

Green Island, Kuwait, August 2012

Green Island is a small area of reclaimed land, popular with weekend picnickers, adjacent to the coastline of Kuwait City. Picture ‘The Palm’, or ‘The World’ in Dubai, but on a much more prudent scale. There had been some spectacular eBird lists compiled here, but I noted that they were mainly towards the end of April as the north-bound migrants passed through. I was hoping that they had enjoyed themselves there and might drop in on their return. Despite any whinges that I may have self-pityingly uttered during a hot bicycle ride earlier in the day, I was quickly reminded why I hate using taxis. Nevertheless, I arrived (at Google Earth ref; 29°21'51.64"N 48° 1'31.31"E) physically unscathed and paid 1KD entrance fee.

Anyone with a jet-ski seemed to be out on the water this evening. The backdrop lent the scene the air of an action sequence from a James Bond Movie.
As evening was fast approaching, people were arriving with barbeques and picnics. It looked as though it would be a busy Friday night. The sun was already quite low and I could not find much variety in the birds to start with. Eurasian Collared Doves, Laughing Doves and White-eared Bulbuls were all very common. 

Only once I reached the inlet at the centre of the island did I find a few more species. White-cheeked Terns, Greater Sand-plovers and Ruddy Turnstones were casting long shadows across the small beach as they prepared to roost for the evening.

The highlight of the visit came when I went to investigate some very noisy birds near a densely foliaged tree. Whilst checking the tree thoroughly  for owls, I came across a couple of Spotted Flycatchers and a small plain warbler. It was a Hippolais species, but I find this family very difficult. Luckily, it swished its tail around in the characteristic manner described in the Upcher’s Warbler section of the field guide.
As the sun set and I made my way back to the entrance gate, an Isabelline Wheatear and a Rufous-tailed (nee Isabelline) Shrike were seen in the dim light. 

Green Island did not provide the glut of lifers that I had hoped for, but there was a lot of smoke and noise from the weekend socializing and entertainment. During the week, it may prove a better proposition as the southern movement gets underway.

Birds seen; 14

Greater Sand-plover 12, Kentish Plover 8, Ruddy Turnstone 15, Whiskered Tern 15, Lesser Crested Tern 1, Eurasian Collared Dove 65, Laughing Dove 25, Rufous-tailed Shrike 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Red-vented Bulbul 6, White-eared Bulbul 25, Upcher’s Warbler 1, Isabelline Wheatear 1, House Sparrow 400.

 Visit the dedicated Middle East Page for more from the region including Safa Park, Dubai and Qurm Natural Park in Muscat

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