It had to happen eventually!
We have all been waiting for the rain to arrive and it seems to be later this Wet Season. The frogs must have been wondering what was going on, but now they are happy. It’s not “rain” here until we get over 10mm in a downpour, which has now officially happened and it looks like we have plenty more rain ahead. Of course it will still be 32c in the day and 29c at night, but it adds variety to all those bright blue skies that we have to endure the rest of the year!! The birding may well get interesting if we get some strong winds from the north….who knows what may show up!
Rain in Roebuck Bay at last!
The downside to big falls of rain are the restrictions to where we can get to. Many gravel roads will be closed and the only access will be on foot. Once everywhere is really flooded the birds will have so much choice they will disperse and be harder to find.
A gravel road before they close it!
We went for a walk and to look for some shorebirds on Thursday and the sky looked OK when we set off, but things can change fast this time of year. We were at Town Beach (in town) and had not gone far and the skies opened. We always carry a plastic bag for emergencies-drop camera, mobile phones, etc into it and wait. It is recommended you wear quick drying clothes as well…board shorts are ideal! It is interesting to watch shorebirds in these conditions as it takes fairly torrential rain before they stop feeding and tuck their bills under. The storm soon went around us and we carried on. Although the tides were not ideal for shorebird watching, due to them being neaps, we did have some rather nice species along the shoreline.
Pacific Golden Plover and Ruddy Turnstones
Did you see four Ruddy Turnstones in the first picture? They are really well camouflaged amongst the rocks, though their legs do tend to give them away! The Pacific Golden Plovers are still showing some nice colour as well. This is a good area for Ruddy Turnstones, Pacific Golden Plover and Grey Plover even on neap tides.
As I mentioned earlier, the Green Tree Frogs were awaiting the rain. Our garden has several watering points for the birds and this also encourages frogs, which provide us with not only noise during the Wet Season but tadpoles. Tadpoles eat mosquito larvae and we are all happy! We also save rain water to wash the house windows and to put in the car windscreen wash-the best water! These butts are very useful if you are a Green Tree Frog. There’s a lot of “hugging” going on…..
“Hugging” Green Tree Frogs
All of this results in a rather busy pond as we have at least 4 species of frog which use it during the Wet Season.
It’s going to be an interesting few months ahead as far as weather goes, but don’t think a bit of rain is going to stop us getting out there and going birding! How bad could the roads get? If you are watching the “Dakar Rally” you know what a bad road can look like! We don’t have a support team when we go out, so we are rather more cautious than they are!
Sweet! Lucky you!
Can’t complain though. We (Kuwait) finally are getting some decent water from above too 🙂
Lovely photos! I like how everything seems to turn to live and vibrant.
@ Nicole-I remember the “white sky” before the welcome rain in Kuwait in the early 1980’s as a child! We went to the mud near Bubiyan Island to see Flamingos and it was so sticky-got taller and taller! Here you just sink in the mud! Are there still flocks of Flamingos there nowadays?
We are here now since over two years and we never had rain like this before (well, my husband did, the week before I got back in December), but since a few years now the rain was sorely missed here.
I enjoy it so much (well, maybe minus the muddy feet and the dirt in the house) 😉
So, I don’t know about the white skies before the rain. It only got humid here or muggy, but the rain never reached the ground.
Yes, the Flamingos are still here. They are in easy viewing range in Shuweikh bay these days.
Sadly recently some morons killed 8 of them just for ‘fun’.
Angry doesn’t cut my feelings toward these a**h***s 🙁
Have you been here for birding or did you live here?
@ Nicole-my father is a Chartered Engineer and we lived as a family in Sharjah, UAE from 1975 until 1979 and then moved to Kuwait until 1985 for me-then I travelled to the USA and Australia. I don’t remember seeing too many birds when we lived there. There were a lot of mudskippers on the mud in those days. I expect it is very different from what I remember! 🙂
We found two dead Australian Bustards yesterday-most likely shot, so not very happy….thankfully we saw a live pair later on to cheer us up a little. People can be so cruel. 🙁
Ugh, my eyes tear up when reading about shot birds 🙁
Why do people do this, if it’s not for any use (eating)? 🙁
So, you are quite a Nomad too, I gather 😉
I think, the birds have been here during those years too. Most people just don’t see them.
I have many people (Kuwaitis) tell me, that there ain’t nothing here. Right.
Kuwait did change a lot since those days though. I have a German friend (hm, acquaintance?). She spent some years here more tahn 10 years back & saw some of my photos and was like ‘huh?!’ 😀
Mudskippers are not to be seen very much these days. They are still there, but you really need to look close (under trash, besides trash,…)
Do you have a ‘normal’ blog too, or do you post ‘just’ here?
PS: Inshallah, tomorrow I go birding with one of the Pro-birders here – looking so forward to it (well, maybe it stops raining for tomorrow? Just tomorrow? ;-))
@ Nicole-I just post here each week as I am pretty busy with shorebird research and data entry to do with it! We just got wet in the rain today, but it’s warm and we saw thousands of shorebirds. If there’s lightning we don’t go out, but otherwise it’s all part of life here in the Wet Season. Often it rains in such a small area “isolated showers” you can almost walk ahead of a storm! Don’t worry we have trash here as well-mainly beer cans and also the most recent problem is blue/green algae from too many nutrients entering Roebuck Bay-we hate it when we see it caught on birds’ feet. 🙁
Good Luck for tomorrow!
Well, I’ll take my rain cover for the cam and hope we won’t get stuck in the mud 😉
‘Shorebird research’ cool! I got asked on Project Noah yesterday if I was a scientist. Me?! Big grin 😀
The trash problem here is seriously pretty bad 🙁
At this post is a video at the end that shows some of the issues fairly well, if you want to check:
It sucks that trash is such an issue everywhere these days 🙁
But like with the hunters: humans never learn, do they?
All we learn from History is that we don’t learn from History!
Beautiful photos and wonderful volunteer work! Those frogs have a self satisfied smirk don’t they?
@ Mark-the frogs have been smirking all week! We got nice steady rain and Cyclone Heidi went south thankfully.