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Birding Kuwait 2007

The State of Kuwait is a small constitutional monarchy on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north. The name is a diminutive of an Arabic word meaning "fortress built near water."
As of the end of 2005, Kuwait had a total population of 2.992 million people which included approximately 2 million non-nationals. Kuwaiti citizens are therefore a minority of those who reside in Kuwait. About 57% of the Kuwaiti population is Arab; Arab expatriates include a large group of stateless Arabs, locally known as Bidoon (an Arabic word meaning "without" and distinct from "Bedouin"), along with many other Arabs. Other large groups of expatriates include Assyrians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos. In 2003, more than 400,000 Indian nationals lived in Kuwait, making them the largest expatriate community there.
Kuwait enjoys a variable continental climate. Summers (April to October) are extremely hot and dry with temperatures exceeding 51°C (124°F) in Kuwait City several times during the hottest months of June, July and August. April and October are more moderate with temperatures over 40°C uncommon . Winters (November through February) are cool with some precipitation and average temperatures around 13°C (56°F) with extremes from -2°C to 27°C. The spring season (March) is warm and pleasant with occasional thunderstorms. Surface coastal water temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) in February to 35°C (95°F) in August.
The location of Kuwait at the top of the Persian Gulf, in the south-east corner of the Western Palearctic (WP), makes it an interesting birding country, especially amongst birdwatchers who are interested in counting WP species. A change in visa-rules in 2006 made it easier for visitors getting into the country, so in March 2007 the first ever Swedish group of birders visited Kuwait.

The group consisted of: Jan-Michael Breider, Bosse Carlsson, Per Forsberg, Staffan Rodebrand, Seppo Haavisto, Christer Brostam, Sven Karlsson and Johan Sandstrom.
Invaluable help on location from George Gregory – the author of “The Birds of the State of Kuwait” with nearly 20 years experience of birdwatching in the Persian Gulf.


The only birdwatching you normally see in Kuwait?
The only birdwatching you normally see in Kuwait?
Entering the gaschamber at Kuwait airport
Entering the gaschamber at Kuwait airport
Getting a visa is now very easy
Getting a visa is now very easy
Treating an impressive 10% of worlds oil production
Treating an impressive 10% of worlds oil production
Kuwait need a lot of power to feed the air-condition system in the brutally hot summers
Kuwait need a lot of power to feed the air-condition system in the brutally hot summers
March - a pleasant time for walking
March - a pleasant time for walking
You like to dig sand ? This is the place!
You like to dig sand ? This is the place!
Early morning volleyboll game outside Green Island Park
Early morning volleyboll game outside Green Island Park
Great building activity in downtown Kuwait City
Great building activity in downtown Kuwait City
Mosque in the suburbs of Kuwait City
Mosque in the suburbs of Kuwait City
Beautiful Muslim architecture
Beautiful Muslim architecture
Kuwait Towers (Swedish designed!!)
Kuwait Towers (Swedish designed!!)
The towers from below are impressive buildings
The towers from below are impressive buildings
Restaurant inside the tower seen in the roof
Restaurant inside the tower seen in the roof
Heavy rainclouds hanging low over Kuwait city skyline
Heavy rainclouds hanging low over Kuwait city skyline
 At 372 m (1,220 ft), the Liberation Tower (to the right ) is the world's thirteenth-tallest
At 372 m (1,220 ft), the Liberation Tower (to the right ) is the world's thirteenth-tallest
Early morning traffic jam at highway five
Early morning traffic jam at highway five
In case you think it`s to cold you can call the Sahara team
In case you think it`s to cold you can call the "Sahara team"
Al Jahra
Al Jahra
Repairing mosque tower
Repairing mosque tower
Prayer room at McDonalds
Prayer room at McDonalds
Toilet at McDonalds - clean as allways....
Toilet at McDonalds - clean as allways....
Young farm worker - Al Jahra
Young farm worker - Al Jahra
Farm worker - Al Jahra
Farm worker - Al Jahra
Man at an Al-Jahra farm
Man at an Al-Jahra farm
One of many Indian workers living in Kuwait
One of many Indian workers living in Kuwait
Young boy at Abdali Farms
Young boy at Abdali Farms
Workers prepairing new highway
Workers prepairing new highway
Jan-Michael Breider taking a shot at Slender-billed Gulls (Photo Johan Sandstrom)
Jan-Michael Breider taking a shot at Slender-billed Gulls (Photo Johan Sandstrom)
Per Forsberg
Per Forsberg
Staffan Rodebrand
Staffan Rodebrand
Johan Sandström - Rock steady
Johan Sandström - "Rock steady"
Bosse Carlsson - cleen feet but always hungry
Bosse Carlsson - cleen feet but always hungry
Seppo Haavisto (do you feel the smell of cigars?)
Seppo Haavisto (do you feel the smell of cigars?)
Looking for Wheatears in Sabah Al-Ahmad
Looking for Wheatears in Sabah Al-Ahmad
Christer, Bosse, Staffan and Per
Christer, Bosse, Staffan and Per
George Gregory - author of the book The Birds of the State of Kuwait
George Gregory - author of the book "The Birds of the State of Kuwait"
Pekka Fågel, Abdularahman Al-Sirham and Seppo Haavisto
Pekka Fågel, Abdularahman Al-Sirham and Seppo Haavisto
Seppo and Abdularahman
Seppo and Abdularahman
Abdularahman Al-Sirham - one of few local birdwatchers in Kuwait
Abdularahman Al-Sirham - one of few local birdwatchers in Kuwait
Cameraman from Kuwait TV
Cameraman from Kuwait TV
Swedish birdwatchers filmed by Kuwait TV
Swedish birdwatchers filmed by Kuwait TV
Per Forsberg giving an interview and telling about birdwatching in the Gulfstates
Per Forsberg giving an interview and telling about birdwatching in the Gulfstates
Christer showing the desert birds to cameraman
Christer showing the desert birds to cameraman
Namaqua Dove male
Namaqua Dove male
Invited to dinner with Kuwaiti birdwatchers
Invited to dinner with Kuwaiti birdwatchers
Johan and Seppo getting to know the secrets
Johan and Seppo getting to know the secrets
Staffan with famous Kuwait  birdwatchers
Staffan with famous Kuwait birdwatchers
Happy Birdwatchers after having had dinner together (Photo with Johan Sandstroms camera)
Happy Birdwatchers after having had dinner together (Photo with Johan Sandstroms camera)
Entering the gates of Sabah Al-Ahmad National Park
Entering the gates of Sabah Al-Ahmad National Park
Trying to find sculcing birds in the desert
Trying to find sculcing birds in the desert
Spring in the desert
Spring in the desert
On the plains of Sabah Al-Ahmad
On the plains of Sabah Al-Ahmad
Spiny-tailed Lizzard - a common sight in Sabah Al-Ahmad
Spiny-tailed Lizzard - a common sight in Sabah Al-Ahmad
Black-winged stilt in an Sabah Al-Ahmad oasis
Black-winged stilt in an Sabah Al-Ahmad oasis
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Grey wagtail - allways present
Grey wagtail - allways present
Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Olivaceous Warbler
Olivaceous Warbler
Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike keeping an eye above
Woodchat Shrike keeping an eye above
Steppe Eagel taking a rest ?? (Yes, it flew away when we approached)
Steppe Eagel taking a rest ?? (Yes, it flew away when we approached)
Sven, Bosse and Seppo spotting desert birds
Sven, Bosse and Seppo spotting desert birds
Strong and beautiful - whatmoore do you need?
Strong and beautiful - whatmoore do you need?
Early morning breakfast along Basra Highway
Early morning breakfast along Basra Highway
Stopping to have breakfast
Stopping to have breakfast
Young boys often start falconry with Kestrels
Young boys often start falconry with Kestrels
The well garded Iraqi border - american troops everywhere
The well garded Iraqi border - american troops everywhere
Trucks in the morning waiting for the Iraqi border to open
Trucks in the morning waiting for the Iraqi border to open
All second hand things can be sold in Iraq
All second hand things can be sold in Iraq
Abdali Farms - close to Iraqi border
Abdali Farms - close to Iraqi border
Abdali Farm workers
Abdali Farm workers
Chiff-chaff
Chiff-chaff
Watch the fly !!
Watch the fly !!
Green Toad (Bufo viridis) - Abdali Farms
Green Toad (Bufo viridis) - Abdali Farms
Red-wattled Lapwing - rare breeder in the Western Palearctic
Red-wattled Lapwing - rare breeder in the Western Palearctic
George showing Common Babblers near Abdali Farms
George showing Common Babblers near Abdali Farms
Red-vented Bulbul at Green Island
Red-vented Bulbul at Green Island
Hypocolius (yes it is a bird not a disease) - Green Island
Hypocolius (yes it is a bird not a disease) - Green Island
Collared Doves outside Green Island
Collared Doves outside Green Island
Great Reed Warbler - Green Island
Great Reed Warbler - Green Island
A green (!!) with a view - Zour Port
A green (!!) with a view - Zour Port
Small crab ready to defend itself
Small crab ready to defend itself
The waters outside Zour Port is good for seabirds
The waters outside Zour Port is good for seabirds
Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Sanderlings - soon time to leave for the arctic
Sanderlings - soon time to leave for the arctic
White-cheeked Bulbul - Zour Port
White-cheeked Bulbul - Zour Port
Redstart at football goal - Zour Port
Redstart at football goal - Zour Port
Bank Myna - Al Jahra
Bank Myna - Al Jahra
Red-rumped Swallows - Al Jahra
Red-rumped Swallows - Al Jahra
Picnic near Jahra east Outfall
Picnic near Jahra east Outfall
High tide birdwatching at Jahra East outfall
High tide birdwatching at Jahra East outfall
Yellow Wagtail (feldegg)
Yellow Wagtail (feldegg)
Yellow Wagtails seeking night shelter in the reed
Yellow Wagtails seeking night shelter in the reed
At Jahra East Outfall
At Jahra East Outfall
Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia
Grey Wagtail at Jahra East Outfall
Grey Wagtail at Jahra East Outfall
Grey Wagtail at Jahra East Outfall
Grey Wagtail at Jahra East Outfall
Little Bittern
Little Bittern
Little Bittern
Little Bittern
Bluethroat
Bluethroat
George and the swedish group at Jahra Eastern Outfall
George and the swedish group at Jahra Eastern Outfall
Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike
Bosse taking pictures of an Isabelline Shrike trapped in a mistnet
Bosse taking pictures of an Isabelline Shrike trapped in a mistnet
George and Isabelline Shrike - Per and Bosse taking pictures
George and Isabelline Shrike - Per and Bosse taking pictures
Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike
Every dog is happy to meet a birdwatcher in Kuwait
Every dog is happy to meet a birdwatcher in Kuwait
Early morning by  the reeds at  Jahra Pool reserve
Early morning by the reeds at Jahra Pool reserve
Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Looking for the Clamorous Reed Warbler (a needle in the haystack for some!)
Looking for the Clamorous Reed Warbler (a needle in the haystack for some!)
Our favourite frog - Green Toad (Bufo viridis)
Our favourite frog - Green Toad (Bufo viridis)
Waders gathering close to land on high tide
Waders gathering close to land on high tide
High tide with Curlews near Kuwait City
High tide with Curlews near Kuwait City
Crab Plover - resident bird in the Gulf
Crab Plover - resident bird in the Gulf
Calidris and Charadrius waders gathering near Kuwait City
Calidris and Charadrius waders gathering near Kuwait City
A beautiful flock of calidris waders mixed with turnstones and Lesser Sand Plovers
A beautiful flock of calidris waders mixed with turnstones and Lesser Sand Plovers
Birdflue protection visiting Sulaibiya Agricultural Research Station
Birdflue protection visiting Sulaibiya Agricultural Research Station
Driving in Sulaibiya
Driving in Sulaibiya
Stuck in the sands of Sulaibiya
Stuck in the sands of Sulaibiya
Tenting outside Kuwait City
Tenting outside Kuwait City
Typicall swedish dirty car!
Typicall swedish dirty car!
Evening rush in the suburbs of Kuwait City
Evening rush in the suburbs of Kuwait City
Parasitic desert  flower
Parasitic desert flower
Southern Grey Shrike
Southern Grey Shrike
Small desert shop on the road to Al Abraq Oasis in the west
Small desert shop on the road to Al Abraq Oasis in the west
Small shop in western desert
Small shop in western desert
American patrol Hummer near western border to Iraq (Saddams invasion route 1991)
American patrol Hummer near western border to Iraq (Saddams invasion route 1991)
En route to Al Abraq
En route to Al Abraq
Bedouines near western Iraqi border
Bedouines near western Iraqi border
Bedouines near western Iraqi border
Bedouines near western Iraqi border
Dressed for winter driving in Kuwait desert!
Dressed for winter driving in Kuwait desert!
local shop owner in Al Abraq oasis
local shop owner in Al Abraq oasis
Far from the big malls - the local shop in Al Abraq
Far from the big malls - the local shop in Al Abraq
Looking for Dunn`s Lark (and YES we found it!)
Looking for Dunn`s Lark (and YES we found it!)
Shepard (waiting for the grass to get taller?)
Shepard (waiting for the grass to get taller?)
Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) - Al Abraq Oasis
Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) - Al Abraq Oasis
Hoopoe in Al Abraq oasis
Hoopoe in Al Abraq oasis
Hoopoe surprise.....
Hoopoe surprise.....
Scops Owl - Al Abraq oasis
Scops Owl - Al Abraq oasis
Scops Owl trying to hide (yes it is difficult to find) - Al Abraq oasis
Scops Owl trying to hide (yes it is difficult to find) - Al Abraq oasis
Female Semi-collared Flycatcher - Al Abraq oasis
Female Semi-collared Flycatcher - Al Abraq oasis
Ciff-chaff in nice surroundings - Al Abraq oasis
Ciff-chaff in nice surroundings - Al Abraq oasis
Mother and child Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) - Western desert near Al Abraq
Mother and child Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) - Western desert near Al Abraq
Local sandstorm coming - roads disappearing
Local sandstorm coming - roads disappearing
Returning to Kuwait City on the safe side
Returning to Kuwait City on the safe side