25 June 2012

Little Grebes Breeding – Dhahran Hills

The Percolation Pond has had a couple of Little Grebes nesting for a few weeks, but yesterday I made an effort to count all the nests I could find. Some are out in the open but a couple of nests are well hidden in the vegetation of the pond so there is no guarantee I have found all the nests. My final total was five nests and one adult bird with two recently fledged young. This is six pairs in total and increase from four pairs noted in 2011. The species is quite a common bird here in Dhahran as well as at Sabkhat Al Fasl (Jubail) and can be found on most largish water bodies in the Eastern Province.

The water levels and amount of pond weed present at the moment make breeding conditions ideal for the species and they are making the most of the conditions. Last year a number of young were predated by the Grey Heron that is present on the pond, so let us hope that the Heron is less successful this year. Other breeding birds on the pond include two pairs of Eurasian Coot and at least ten pairs of Common Moorhen. The Common Moorhen now have well grown young that can easily be seen on the pond, whereas a week or so ago the birds were not visible at all and must have been hiding in the vegetation.