Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I wish I knew...

...more about the local birds. At present I have a number of unanswered questions about the Spangled Drongos I have been seeing around my place. These birds come here in the winter time and stay for a short while. Usually I see only one or two of them and they disappear again after only a short while. This year there have been a lot more of them and they have stayed for weeks. So why are there so many this year? Was it a specially good breeding season this last summer? Are all the new homes that have recently been built in town providing better habitat for them? Why are they staying so long or is this about habitat as well? The birding books don't/can't tell you things like this.
The photos are of two different birds. (I had written a few sentences here about the eye color differences but apparently this is not right - thanks Tony for correcting me.)


  1. Hi Mick: Your guide might be bit misleading. Most don't give any difference in eye colour of adult birds. Migration patterns rather complex, some moving north-south, others south-north. Pizzey&Knight most complete of common guides. HANZAB (yours for a mere few $thousand) should give you answers. I guess food and temperature the two biggest factors.

  2. Thanks Tony for correcting me about the eye color. I should have checked more than one book! Yes I do understand that the migration patterns are complex. My main question is why the numbers have changed so greatly this year.

  3. You are running into the same 'problems' as I do.
    Nobody seems to be able to answer the questions, or they are all set on the ways things were when surveys were last made (if they were ever made).
    I find it frustrating.

    Anyhow. That is one beautiful fellow there. I've never even heard of this one before :D

  4. Hi Nicole, I am finding the "bush" birds much harder to understand. There are regular monthly surveys of the shorebirds which meant a structured way of learning about them when I first got interested - but no such thing with these others! And - afaik no direct records for this particular area.

  5. Are you the only one recording?

    In Sharm were a few other people, but coordinating something was impossible (and I don't think it's because I'm a jerk one can't work with,...)

    Everything in Egypt seems to evolve around the big nature preserve parks and whatnot.
    Sinai alone has 3 big parks and no surveys whatsoever.

    Here in Kuwait now, I'm just learning my ways around, but it seems more people are recording and maybe working with them will be an option.
    I found the last time I was here that the Expats here are much more friendly and more open to new contacts whereas in Sharm, you had to be in Sharm from the Beginning to be accepted,...

    Anyhow,.... sorry for the rant ;)

    Hope you find some more Infos & maybe some people to collaborate with!
    Maybe you need to be the one that has to collect the data so others can learn from it in the future ;)

  6. Hi again Nicole, I guess I have been spoilt with the records with shorebirds. They are surveyed every month and all the major roosts detailed (although not all done regularly) and I just wish that something similar had been done with "bush" birds. It seems to me that it is much more haphazard with them - and I wish I could have detailed records available as with the shorebirds. The other problem is that there are more and more homes being built around here and so the nature of the habitat is changing rapidly. I have birding friends who visit here but I know of no-one in the immediate area that has a specific interest or that has kept very local records.
    I wish you well in your birding in Kuwait. Keeping a blog about the birds has to be useful in the long run.

  7. Thanks, Mick.
    I wish you the Best of Luck too.
    It's sad that humans destroy more and more of the natural habitats.
    Maybe one day a bigger race will come (like Dinosaurs) and just trample and destroy all we've built.
    Now, that would be something, no? ;-)

    I actually found a group of birders here in Kuwait yesterday, who work on record keeping and who visit the habitats regularly.
    Now, getting them to take me along might take some work *grin*

  8. Nicole, I look forward to reading about more of your birding activities in Kuwait. I've been reading the Birding Kuwait blog and there look to be some fantastic birds over there. Hope you can see some of them.

  9. Yepp, found that one a while ago and sent Mike an email yesterday.
    And yes, hope to see some too :D

  10. Hi Mick
    Keep on asking questions.
    I heard a quote on ABC Radio National yesterday from David Unaipon, the famous Aboriginal inventor, philosopher, etc, etc.
    He said "Always keep asking questions; and never be satisfied with the answers you get."!
    Kind of sums it up, doesn't it?
    Your Blog will build up into a substantial "Body of Knowledge" (it already is) and you will be amazed how you can start to refer back to issues you have raised before, and comments made by others, and lots of things will fall into place for you.
    Spangled Drongos are outside my range, by the away. I have only ever seen a few, on my holidays.
    Nice photo of the distinctive tail, by the way.


  11. Hi Denis, thanks for your comments and encouragement. I am finding that I am accumulating quite a bit of knowledge about the local birds (especially the shorebirds) from my accumulated photos taken since I got my first multi-zoom camera at the end of 2006. I have saved photos for what they show about the birds at different places around the bay - not necessarily because they are all great photos :-( I like the quote from David Unaipon. I followed your link and read about him - he must have been an amazing man!