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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Kuwait Day 7 Afghan Babblers

We connected with 12 Afghan Babbler at Abdaly in the morning light

  On the 28th, we drove overnight north to Abdaly, only a few miles from the Iraqi border, to be there at first light. Here, is the only reliable site in kuwait to see the recently split Afghan Babbler from Common Babbler. We've both seen the latter species before and I guess when or if we see these babblers in Abdaly, no doubt that they will look just the same as the Common Babbler that I saw a few years back!! The following morning as the sun was rising, we were driving around towards the spot where the babblers favour when our attention was turned towards a male Caspian Stonechat at close range on the telephone wires. It was only a few seconds after when I said to Mush 'What's that perched on the wire fence up road?' I had an idea what it was. We lifted our bins and there were the Afghan Babblers!! The stonechat was left in the dust as we drove closer and for the next fifteen minutes, we got cracking views of the twelve of them as they moved along the fence and the side of the road before disappearing deeper behind the fence where we lost them. We were still a mile or so from the original spot where they are meant to be and feel like we jammed in there, thanks to that stonechat.


The Afghan Babbler did look like the Common Babblers that I've seen before. All 12 of them!

  We left the babblers and drove around the maze of arable fields that were watered throughout searching for Red-wattled Plover but no joy after an hour. However, as a result we came across Pied and Desert Wheatear, Tawny Pipit and an Oriental Skylark.
  Looking at the map we decided to drive from the Iraqi border, south along the coast. It turned out to be a lot harder than we could of imagined. Road works, floods and the Kuwaiti army had us pinned down for a while at a checkpoint!! They came across as though they were bored and called out the sergeant from the barracks when they saw us. I thought we were in the shite now as he came across towards us in his dark shades hiding his sleepy eyes because we've just woken him up from him trying to have an afternoon nap! Arthorty was written all over his face, except his eyes. We couldn't see them. He questioned us over and over again, repeated questions, 'You haven't taking any photos of this area have you?' Yeah, I thought I would take one as a holiday snap and look back ten years down the line and think, I remember that day when that dossy sergeant repeated himself. 'So you sure you haven't taken any photos of the checkpoint?' OK! Let me think. I said no a few times already but as I forget all the time, I'll have to remind myself if I really did take any photos of your lovely barracks. It really did get through to him and it felt like, we ain't getting anywhere and we ain't goin anywhere today and he's goin to lock us up! Perhaps we should of put on an American accent as there were signs that we passed on the road with 'GOD BLESS THE US TROOPS!!' The troops that were sent out into an unjust war! While those who send out the orders sit behind a desk back in the safety of their own country!!  So, we didn't see much else, thanks to the Kuwaiti army but at least we were free!!

Cracking birds male Desert Wheatear

This female Pied Wheatear didn't show as well as the Desert Wheatear

A few Tawny Pipit were knocking around including this individual using the same fence line as the wheatears

We also came across this pair of Namaqua Dove while driving around

Male Spanish Sparrow

Crested Lark

Kentish Plover

Kuwaiti/Iraqi border ahead

  An hour later and we were almost back at Jarah  but not before we made our third attempt at seeing the Red-tailed Wheatear just off the 801. Each visit has been busy with families all over the shop and loud noisy buggy's deafening you as they race by. We got the timing spot on and on just one side of the tall wadi were Black Redstart, Desert, Eastern Morning and the Red-tailed Wheatear and everyone of them kept their distance and wouldn't let us get near them. As I drove out from the wadi, a Isabelline Wheatear did the opposite and almost jumped into the wagon!!

Red-tailed Wheatear

This Eastern Mourning Wheatear didn't show nothing like the Western's I've seen in Palestine. 

However, this Isabelline Wheatear showed superbly 

The wadi in front of the wagon is where the wheatear were hanging out 

Someone got lost and stuck


This brought me back memories of the first Bluethroat I ever saw, 100 year ago, when an individual almost walked through my legs back home at Little Porth, Scilly

Ring-necked Parakeet

White-throated Kingfisher

This Squacco Heron was feeding with Cattle Egret

Daurain Shike with the supermarket in the background.  An hour of light left and we made the short trip to make our third visit to Jarah Farm   

Down on the farm

Two days later after we almost got locked up by the Kuwaiti sergeant, how funny it is were in Kuwait when this warmonger died!! Think of the 1000s of Iraqi's and US soldiers he killed in the name of Oil!? Nothing to do with kuwait! If the Israeli PM was answering these very same questions in this Spitting Image sketch, he would also give the same answers as Bush would, Iraq!! Good ole Rory Bremner and his team.

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