29 Oct 2013

An interesting heron – Sabkhat Al Fasl

I took a photo of an interesting heron in the spring at Sabkhat Al Fasl, which unfortunately flew off before I could take anymore and then forgot all about it until I looked through my photos again a week or so ago. The bird looks very dark on the back and almost maroon in colour, especially when compared to the Squacco heron in front, features for Indian Pond Heron. The trouble with the bird is it has rather thin and broken streaking on the head and neck rather than broad and dark and the breast is white whereas on Indian Pond Heron it should be more streaked. There is also often a very obvious dark line across the lores on Indian Pond Heron, which this bird hints at, but is probably not quite prominent enough? Also the bill shape does not look quite right and should be more blunt tipped. Although the bird superficially looks like an Indian Pond Heron, there are too many points that do not fit perfectly making me think it is probably not one. Anyone with any thoughts on this bird, please feel free to comment.


  1. Jens and hanne Eriksen at Omanbirds.com told me the easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the yellow patch between the bill and eye. If the patch forms a straight line that just goes under the eye, it is a Squacco. If the patch forms a triangular shape with it spreading out both above and below the eye, than it is an Indian Pond Heron. I believe Birds of the Middle East shows this difference. Lou in Riyadh