23 September 2013

Purple Heron – Dhahran Hills

The Purple Heron Ardea purpura is an uncommon passage migrant from March to June and August to November that is rarely seen in summer and winter. Birds are more common in autumn with juveniles predominating although plenty of adults are also seen. Birds mainly frequent inland freshwater habitats but can also be seen along the coast in coastal plant growth. The highest count I have had in Dhahran was nine together, in the reeds of the percolation pond, but singles are much more common. The photographs below were taken in the spray fields where a single bird was seen by some standing water before flying off and landing in a tall tree alongside the percolation pond. This bird is a juvenile which are most common age of birds seen in the autumn. Sabkhat Al Fasl is a good location for Purple Herons in the Eastern Province but, unfortunately many are shot here as it appears to be a favorite species for the hunters.