5 May 2013

Great Crested Grebe back – Dhahran Hills

The Great Crested Grebe that had been about for most of the winter disappeared from the percolation pond about a month ago, ending hopes that the bird may breed. Yesterday one of the birds was back, which was a pleasant surprise. As I was watching it, it caught and ate a frog. The frog was quite large and the bird had trouble swallowing it, but eventually this was accomplished. There were very few other birds seen on the pond excepting the breeding Eurasian Coots, Common Moorhens and Little Grebes.
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
The spray fields had significantly fewer birds than recently but still had ten Barred Warblers, ten Red-backed Shrikes and a Western Marsh Harrier. Several Spotted Flycatchers were in the bushes surrounding the spray fields and as I was about to leave a Purple Heron flew in and landed in the short grass by one of the spray heads.
Barred Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Purple Heron
Walking around the bushes by the percolation pond resulted in a cracking male Masked Shrike that has been around for a few days and several Eastern Olivaceous Warblers that have just started arriving for the breeding season. Several European Bee-eaters and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters were flying around the scrubby desert area and perching on the ground and nearby bushes.
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater

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