13 June 2013

Breeding Little Grebes – Dhahran Hills

There are a lot of Little Grebes breeding on the percolation pond this year. I counted 15 nests in the floating reeds of the pond which is an increase on last year where there were 12 nests found. All the birds are sitting on eggs at the moment, which is surprising as there are some quite well grown young at Sabkhat Al Fasl at present. Most of the nests are well away from the edge of the pond but one is in a quiet corner where I could take photographs through the wire surrounding-fence. The photographs below show two different birds on two different nests. The pond appears to be a very safe place this year as the predatory Grey Heron that killed and ate a number of young birds last year including European Coot and Little Grebe is not present at the moment.

The species has only become a widespread breeding species since the 1970’s and it is thought that about 500 pairs breed in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. It has increased its range in Arabia as well as its numbers due to the increase in wetland areas created by treated waste water sites and water runoff areas.