05 September 2014

Little Grebe in the spray fields - Dhahran Hills

The spray field area is a good location for seeing a number of species of birds but the true water birds such as grebes, Moorhens, ducks and Coots are not seen there as there is no permanent water and the water that is there is very shallow. It was thus a big surprise when I found a Little Grebe feeding in a relatively deep, small puddle formed by one of the spray heads. This is a narrow body of water approximately ten metres long and is where I photographed the Ruff recently (see previous post). The bird was actively feeding in the water body but was disturbed by my approach and climbed out onto the bank where it stayed for some time before re-entering the water and continuing feeding. Little Grebe is a common bird on the camp with over one hundred present on the nearby Percolation pond where they are a breeding resident. Other birds are also present continually on the settling pond. Other birds seen of note were limited but another surprise find was an adult Black-crowned Night Heron on the settling pond where I saw it fly around and land in the dense reed bed. Black-crowned Night Heron is an unusual visitor to the Eastern Province and scarce in the camp although I did have an adult during the summer on the percolation pond this year. The only other bird of note was a single Black-tailed Godwit still on the percolation pond.