We are golden

Finally, tenaciousness pays off. Birded hard some areas today we knew other birders don’t visit that often. In the afternoon, we went to the famous Sulaibiya Pivot Fields. The area is closed for public access, apparently there were some arguments between the owner of the fields and birders some 5 years ago, and since, no one has access to one of the best birding sites in Kuwait. We decided to walk into the backside of the area and scope. It started out great with 2 Booted Eagles where we stopped the car.

Booted Eagle
Booted Eagle

Walked a gravel area for a few kilometers and Erik shouts PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER. It’s far away, we all scope and then some murmuring … uhh . it has an eyebrow. That’s bad – right. Until Erik again shouts – it’s not Golden Plover, it’s SOCIABLE LAPWING !!

It turns out Erik was right the first time as well, it was two Pacific Golden Plovers and two Sociable Lapwings walking together with a flock of Northern Lapwings. Possibly our best find so far on BYWP. Local birder Mike Pope says Sociable Lapwing is 9th record for Kuwait whereas Pacific Golden Plover is more common.  The pics we got aren’t that great – but with some luck, other birders will try to locate the birds in the next days and hopefully they will get better shots.

Sociable Lapwing flying
Sociable Lapwing flying together with one of the Pacific Golden Plovers
Sociable Lapwing and Pacific Golden Plover
Sociable Lapwing and Pacific Golden Plover

Our birds were clearly smudgy and not white on the underside of the wings during flight, the Oriental Birdclub shows it well. After raising the alarm on local WhatsApp, Omar Alsaheen and Marcus Craig immediately showed up 🙂 We than tried the south west side of the field, which is where birders usually go. There we found an additional 9 Sociable Lapwings. They are all probably wintering in the fields. Finished off with 4 Richard’s Pipits, a Pallid Harrier and an adult Eastern Imperial Eagle.

Richards Pipip
Richard’s Pipit


2 thoughts on “We are golden”

  1. Correction; Pacific Golden Plover is rare passage migrant and winter visitor and has not been recorded at Pivot Fields before (to my knowledge) – most records are coastal.
    However, almost all Eurasian Golden Plover records are from Pivot Fields in winter

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