Who turned up the heat?

Birding with Mike

By Mike Pope
The jump to summer is not subtle, one day its bearable in the low 30’s and the next we are hovering in the upper 30’s and low 40’s and already wishing for one of those colder winter days..
Of course the onset of summers also means that the spring migrants have long since passed through Kuwait and are now all in the throes of breeding and are either sitting on eggs or raising young in countries way to the north and east of Kuwait.
In Kuwait, breeding season is also in full swing on the off-shore islands for the many Tern species and on Bubiyan for the larger shore birds like Herons and Spoonbills, as well as Slender-billed Gulls and a few of the other Tern species. Kentish Plovers are breeding or have bred along the coastal zones and I’m still amazed that such a small bird successfully incubates eggs and raises young during the hottest time of the year. In the few inland wetland sites, Black-winged Stilts are now all sitting on eggs too as are many of the reed dwelling species.
Over this past weekend, I noticed that a few late migrant stragglers are still around. The bulk seem to be small shorebirds, but there are also a few passerines like Red-backed Shrikes, European Rollers, Willow Warblers, Barn Swallows and Sand Martins still to be seen – but not for much longer. Around the city Pallid Swifts can be seen overhead and between some of the buildings.
In the coming hot summer months, birds will generally be scarce everywhere as they try and survive the soaring temperatures and stay in cover – pretty much like the rest of us.
But post-breeding when the young have fledged and become independent, they will disperse and start to make the long migration journey in late July and early August to their southern wintering grounds. Whilst locally, the breeding birds from Bubiyan will re-appear along the coast.
For those who are travelling next month, travel safe and have a great summer.







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