13 November 2014

Juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose at Jubail – Bird records by Lou Regenmorter

Lou was in the Eastern Province for the weekend and after spending some time at Sabkhat Al Fasl ventured into Jubail towards Deffi Park. Here he found a small wetland area with a few birds on it including a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose. Lou managed to take some nice photos of the bird as it was fairly tame but the fact it was a juvenile and the time of year points more towards a wild origin than a captive one. Lou has kindly given me permission to reproduce the photos on my website, two of which are shown below. This bird appears to be of the sub-species Anser albifrons albifrons, sometimes known as Russian White-fronted Goose. The confirmed records from the Eastern Province were two immature birds seen on a small treated sewage effluent pond at Dhahran Camp 14th November 1985, four birds at Sabkhat Al Fasl 16th November 2007 two of which were shot by a hunter, nine birds at Dhahran Hills percolation pond 13th to 22nd February 2008, a second calendar year Anser albifrons albifrons was at Sabkhat Al Fasl 17-18 February 2012 and nine shot by a hunter in early winter 2013 at Al Asfar Lake, Al Hassa.

Records from elsewhere in Saudi Arabia include the following:-
One near Jeddah prior to 1981
Immature, Jeddah, 24 December 1982 to 4 March 1983
Singles, Yanbu, 1 January 1983, with another photographed at Yanbu in January 1983 plausibly ascribed to A. a. erythrops, 17 December 1984 to 2 February 1985, and 25 December 1985
First-winter, Mansouriyah near Riyadh, 21 December 1984 to 25th January 1985
Up to 11 first-winters, Riyadh area, 8th November 1985 to late February 1986
One, Mecca bypass, winter 1987/88
Four, lower reaches of Riyadh watercourse, November 1990, had increased to 11 by 1st February 1991
One Jeddah 19 January 2011