Birds Sightings from Kuwait: owned and managed by AbdulRahman Al-Sirhan

Salalah and Muscat, Oman 26 February to 10 March 2016

I went to Salalah for 4 days then to Muscat for the Asian Dowitcher. In Salalah I saw four of my target species which were the Pallas’s Fish Eagle (5th record if accepted), Malachite Kingfisher, Forest Wagtail, and the Striolated Bunting, but missed Pin-tailed Snipe and Long-toed Stint. Salalah is always a nice place to do birding in. There many sites to visit whether along the sea or in the mountains. Biodiversity is intact in this country, low pressure from the humans, the population is 4.2 million (2015) whereas in 1990 the population was 2 million, also the area is 309,500 kmmeans a low density. Wolfs, Arabian Leopards and Caracals do not attack livestock or humans as they life in harmony with their environment, they have plenty of food to choose from, Cape Hare, White-tailed Mongoose, Common Genet, Indian Mongoose, Cape Hyrax and Indian Crested Porcupine, Ethiopian (Desert) Hedgehog and many rodents. Also mammals which include Arabian Tahr, Nubian Ibex, Wild Goat, Arabian Oryx, Arabian Gazelle and Sand Gazelle. One of introduced invasive species in Dhofar is the mesquite tree Prosopis juliflora, spreading dramatically into coastal areas and wadis to a point that is hard to eradicate, clearing away native trees and bushes.

Acknowledgement: I would like to thank especially Saeed AL Shanfari who drove and guided me 9 days in his own car and was a nice company, Haitham Al Shanfari for finding me the Pallas’s Fish Eagle (5th record if accepted), Naser Al Kindi, Hamad Al Wardi, Waheed Al Fazzari and Manal Al Kindi.

Saeed Al Shanfari is bird and wildlife in general guide who lives in Salalah and can be contacted at: omandiver1 “AT” gmail.com

Purple SunbirdCinnyris asiaticus

Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus female

Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus

Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus

Raysut Lagoon Feb 27, 2016 with Naser Al Kindi
27 species

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) 5
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 7
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) 300
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 1
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 9
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 3
Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga) 1
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) 26
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 12
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 2
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 6
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 5
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) 3
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 2
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 6
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) 5
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) 2
Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) 5
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) 2
Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii) 25
Heuglin’s Gull (Larus fuscus heuglini) 30
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) 8
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 1
House Crow (Corvus splendens) 18
Pale Crag-Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula obsoleta) 15
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 5
African Silverbill (Euodice cantans) 2

West Khawr Feb 27, 2016 with Naser Al Kindi
10 species

Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) 1
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 3
Western Reef-Heron (Eastern) (Egretta gularis schistacea) 1
Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii) 3
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 1
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) 2
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 2
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 3
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 1

Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis

Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca

Western White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Western White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Western White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Western White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea

Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii

Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii

Khawr Rawri Feb 28, 2016

6 species

Garganey (Anas querquedula) 6
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 1
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 1
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 2
Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) 2
Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) 1

Malachite Kingfisher Corythornis cristatus

Malachite Kingfisher Corythornis cristatus

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

East Khawr Feb 28, 2016

9 species

Garganey (Anas querquedula) 6
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 36
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) 3
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 55
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 4
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 5
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 4
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 4

African Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

African Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

East Khawr Feb 29, 2016

14 species

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) 1
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) 3
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) 1
House Crow (Corvus splendens) 2
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) 5
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos) 2
White-breasted White-eye (Zosterops abyssinicus) 3
Shining Sunbird (Cinnyris habessinicus) 1
Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) 1 at Dahariz Park
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava beema) 3
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 5
Long-billed Pipit (Anthus similis) 2
Rueppell’s Weaver (Ploceus galbula) 5
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) 7

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus

Tawi Atayr Mon Feb 29, 2016

1 species

Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos) 2

Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos trachielotos

Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos trachielotos

Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos trachielotos

Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos trachielotos

Al Mughsayl (general area) Mar 1, 2016
6 species

Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii) 120
Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) 1
Heuglin’s Gull (Larus fuscus heuglini) 4
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) 20
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) 1
Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis) 5

Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Raysut Lagoon Feb 29, 2016
41 species

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) 5
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 23
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 107
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) 160
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 24
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 2
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 4
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) 2
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 7
Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga) 2
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) 30
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 6
Black Kite (Black-eared) (Milvus migrans lineatus/formosanus) 1
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 1
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 3
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 25
Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) 1
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) 3
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 4
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 4
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) 1
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 9
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) 11
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 3
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 5
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 5
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) 9
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) 2
Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) 6
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 4
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) 6
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) 1
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) 2
Rock Dove (Columba livia) 20
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 1
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) 5
Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) 1
House Crow (Corvus splendens) 23
Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) 10
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) 3
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 5

Al Mughsayl–khawr Mar 1, 2016
13 species

Garganey (Anas querquedula) 5
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 12
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 2
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 1
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) 1
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix nigriceps) 11
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos) 2
Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) 1
Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) 1
Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) 1
Tristram’s Starling (Onychognathus tristramii) 1
Striolated Bunting (Emberiza striolata) 17
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi) 5

Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata

Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata male

Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata

Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata female

Raysut Lagoon Mar 1, 2016

25 species

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) 5
Garganey (Anas querquedula) 15
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 70
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) 90
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 4
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 7
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 1
Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga) 5
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) 1
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 1
Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) 1
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 28
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 5
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) 1
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 2
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) 2
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 6
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 9
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) 4
Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) 2
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) 1
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) 8
Rock Dove (Columba livia) 35
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) 5
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 2

Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis

West Khawr Mar 1, 2016
17 species

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 10
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 1
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 1
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) 1
Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii) 1
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 1
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) 7
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 1
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 1
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) 1
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 3
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 6
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 3
Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) 4
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 4
Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) 1
Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) 1

Raysut Lagoon Mar 1, 2016 with Haitham Al Shanfari

13 species

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 12
Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga) 3
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 2
Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus) 1
Pallas’s Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) 1 (5th record if accepted)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 1
Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii) 10
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 2
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) 20
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) 1
Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis) 1
House Crow (Corvus splendens) 1
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) 3

Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus

Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus

Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus

Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus

Khawr Al Qurm Al Sagheer Mar 1, 2016 with Haitham Al Shanfari
3 species

Cotton Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) 4
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 4
House Crow (Corvus splendens) 6

Al Ansab Lagoon, Masqat Mar 2, 2016
With Hamad Al Wardi, Saeed Al Shanfari, Waheed Al Fazari and Manal Al Kindi.
Unfortunately I missed the Asian Dowitcher as it has left two weeks earlier!
Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) 4
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) 17
Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) 3
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 4
Citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 1
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 3
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) 2

Al Amrat Waste Disposal Site, Masqat Mar 2, 2016 with Waheed Al Fazari
6 species

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) 10
Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos) 3
Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis) 1
Hume’s Wheatear (Oenanthe albonigra) 1
Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 2

Khatmat Milahah, Al Batinah Mar 2, 2016  with Saeed Al Shanfari
3 species

Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) 1
Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria) 1
Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) 2

Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria

Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria

Khor Kalba (Alqurm Protected Area), Fujairah, UAE Mar 3, 2016  with Saeed Al Shanfari
3 species

Collared Kingfisher (Arabian) (Todiramphus chloris kalbaensis) 3
Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) 1
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) 2

Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus

Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus

Khawr Ghawi Mar 6, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari

12 species

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 1
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) 1
Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) 15
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 3
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 2
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 2
Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii) 170
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) 4
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) 3
Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis) 2
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 1
Eastern Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens) 1

Ash Shuwaymiyyah Lagoon Mar 6, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 8
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 7
Garganey (Anas querquedula) 5
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 5
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 2
Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei) 6
Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii) 90
Steppe Gull (Larus fuscus barabensis) 3

North Sadah Mar 7, 2016 With Saees Al Shanfari
1 species
Arabian Partridge (Alectoris melanocephala) 1

This species is endemic to Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman and introduced into United Arab Emirates )

Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala

Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala

Ras Janjari,  Mar 7, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari
3 species

Sand Partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) 5
Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii) 3
Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) 2

Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii male

Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii female

Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi

Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi

Tawi Atayr Mar 7, 2016  with Saeed Al Shanfari

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) 1

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus male

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus female

Khawr Taqah Mar 7, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari
2 species

Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 2
Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva) 17

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva

Dhofar Mar 8, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari

9 species

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) 12
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos) 6
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) 1
White-breasted White-eye (Zosterops abyssinicus) 1
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) 1
Tristram’s Starling (Onychognathus tristramii) 4
Shining Sunbird (Cinnyris habessinicus) 5
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi) 6

Ayn Tabraq Mar 8, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari
6 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 3
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) 2
Golden-winged Grosbeak (Arabian) (Rhynchostruthus socotranus percivali) 4
African Silverbill (Euodice cantans) 7
Blackstart (Cercomela melanura) 1
Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea) 1

African Silverbill Euodice cantans

African Silverbill Euodice cantans

Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea)

Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea)

East Khawr Mar 9, 2016 with Saeed Al Shanfari
12 species

Garganey (Anas querquedula) 6
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 52
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) 2
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 2
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 5
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 2
Kentish Plover (Kentish) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) 9
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) 1
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 19
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 1
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 48
Sandwich Tern (Eurasian) (Thalasseus sandvicensis sandvicensis) 1

Al Baleed Archeological Site with Saeed Al Shanfari
2 species

Spotted Thick-knee (Burhinus capensis) 12
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 2

Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis

Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis

Reptiles:

Variable Agama (Calotes versicolor versicolor) an introduced species!

Variable Agama (Calotes versicolor versicolor)

Variable Agama (Calotes versicolor versicolor)

Sinai Agama (Pseudotrapelus sinai)

Sinai Agama Pseudotrapelus sinai

Sinai Agama Pseudotrapelus sinai

Arabian Chameleon (Chamaeleo arabicus)

Arabian Chameleon Chamaeleo arabicus

Arabian Chameleon Chamaeleo arabicus

Carter’s Semaphore Geckos (Pristurus carteri)

Carter’s Semaphore Geckos Pristurus carteri

Carter’s Semaphore Geckos Pristurus carteri

Thomas’ Spiny-tailed Lizards (U. thomasi)

Thomas’ Spiny-tailed Lizards Uromastyx thomasi

Thomas’ Spiny-tailed Lizards Uromastyx thomasi

Thomas’ Spiny-tailed Lizards Uromastyx thomasi

Thomas’ Spiny-tailed Lizards Uromastyx thomasi

Bent’s Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx benti). When disturbed it retreats to rock crevices, it does not dig burrows, unlike the Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis which we have here in Kuwait. It is smaller and probably adapted to fit itself into the small crevices.

Bent’s Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx benti

Bent’s Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx benti

Mammals:

Arabian Gazelle (Gazella gazella) found on the foothill of the Salalah mountains. They are quite common.

Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella

Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella

Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella

Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella

Sand Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa marica from the Kalba Reserve an introduced species to the reserve for scientific purposes.

Sand Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa marica

Sand Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa marica

5 Responses

  1. Dr R Rajagopal says:

    fantastic collection

  2. Thanks!
    Nice to hear from you again Dr R Rajagopal.

  3. Fantastic gallery of interesting species!
    Regards Hennie Lammers.

  4. Fantastic gallery of interesting species!