05 May 2012

Little Bittern - Dhahran Hills

With the reeds quickly growing back on the percolation pond there are a few birds occurring in the last week or two that like this habitat. Clamorous Reed Warblers and a pair of Little Bittern bred in the reeds here last year and this year at least three pairs of Clamorous Reed Warbler are holding territory and a pair of Little Bittern have been seen in the last two weeks which will also hopefully breed, although proving breeding with Little Bitterns is difficult. The female Little Bittern was out in the open today until it was flushed by an overhead military airplane flying over low and I managed to get a photograph of it just after it landed with its head feather raised. The pond is otherwise quiet but one pair of Eurasian Coots were feeding four young.

Little Bittern (female)

The trees surrounding the pond had one Upcher's Warbler, tree Spotted Flycatchers and a female Red-backed Shrike. The only other shrike seen was a single Daurian Shrike. A large movement of Barn Swallow was in progress when I arrived with well over 500 birds passing through and among them seven Sand Martins. Two European Turtle Doves were seen in the large tress to the side of the pond and the two Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins were seen in their normal places.

European Turtle Dove

Upcher's Warbler

Barn Swallow