29 Jun 2014

Adult Black-crowned Night Heron – Dhahran Hills

I went out birding on the ‘patch’ at first light 04:00 hrs on 28 June in the hope of seeing the Crested Honey Buzzards that have been around for the last three weeks. Unfortunately they did not show and so I went to my normal area of the spray fields and the ponds. When I got to the percolation pond I found an adult Black-crowned Night Heron fishing at the pond edge very close to the track. Unfortunately the bird was directly into the sun making photography very difficult and it flew before I was able to get into a better position. I have seen Black-crowned Night Heron on a couple of occasions in Dhahran but only in September and October previously, with both adults and juveniles seen. The last ones I saw were two years ago so this was a very pleasant surprise showing that birding in the summer when nothing appears o be about still turns up surprises. As far as I am aware there has only been one summer record of the species in the Eastern Province. The Black-crowned Night heron is an uncommon migrant in the eastern province noted more often in autumn than spring. Juveniles occur from September through November and sometimes into February. Spring occurrences are irregular from April to May and there has been one June record and an immature present at Abqaiq from 22 July to 22 August 1983.

6 comments:

  1. Great site. So glad I found it. Used to visit Dhahran as a boy waaay back in 89 to 91'. Pleased that Lake Landhardt is still there! Great memories, trekking down there early in the morning to see the Black winged stilts and once a pair of Flamingos. Keep up the great work! Birding in Britain now but would love to get back to Dhahran one day. For now your site provides me with an up to date window!

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    1. James

      Glad the blog brings back happy memories. Greater Flamingo is a good bird on the 'patch'. Just seen three juveniles myself. Have you got records of any other good birds you saw whilst here? if you have I would love to see them as we are trying to work out what has occurred in the camp.

      Jem

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  2. I do clearly remember 7 or 8 Lapwings on the grassy area near to the lake. As far as I can recall they were/are quite scarce in your region! I will see if I have anything else and will email it to you. I would think it was in 1990. I might be able to check the month.

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    1. I have not seen this species on the 'patch' yet although it has occurred on a few occassions as you mention. If you find the details please let me know although I may have them as I have a few Lapwing records for Dhahran during that period.

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  3. It was December 1990. I will keep digging as i did have some other bits and pieces I wrote down at the time.

    Are there still Mynah birds at Ras Tanura? There were quite a few back in the day!

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    1. James

      There are plenty of Myna birds around everywhere in the Eastern Province now

      Jem

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