08 July 2013

Breeding water birds – Dhahran Hills

Birdlife is low at present with very little to see apart fro the regular breeding species. The great thing about doing a ‘patch’ is that the smallest out of place thing can be noticed as you have done the same site so many times and know what is normal and what is not. The breeding water birds are the same this year as last year with the majority of breeders being Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot. Eurasian Coot numbers are higher this year on the pond with 22 birds, mainly adults but also a few well grown, juveniles. Common Moorhen numbers, however, are lower with less than thirty birds this year compared to over fifty, last year.
Eurasian Coot
Little Grebes have had a tremendous breeding season this year as mentioned in a previous blog, but now a few juveniles are being fed by adults who they remain close to at all times. The juveniles do not look like their parents plumage wise and are stripped when young. The pond looks like a relatively safe place at present as the water levels are high so the Arabian Red Foxes can not walk across and grab any birds and the predatory Grey Heron from the last couple of years is also not present.
Little Grebe - adult & juvenile
Little Grebe - juvenile