21 Dec 2014

Ferruginous Ducks still on the pond – Dhahran Hills

This winter so far has been very good for duck on the percolation pond with high counts of various species including Ferruginous Ducks. The Ferruginous Duck is an uncommon passage migrant, winter visitor and a rare breeder with most birds occurring from September to April. The species is currently listed as Near Threatened and prefers shallower and more vegetated areas than other Aythya species and seldom sits out on open water. Sightings have been scarce and irregular on the ‘patch’ in the four years I have been in Saudi Arabia although this year has seen good numbers with 16 in September and birds seen daily since this time until mid-December. Numbers have decreased and now about five birds remain where they spend most of their time hidden in the reed beds. Due to their behaviour it is difficult to get good photographs of them but on Friday I was lucky to see one swim out of the reeds and into open water at a reasonable range and managed to get my best photos yet of the species. The colour of these birds is really beautiful especially when the sun is shining on them and they are always a pleasure to see.
Ferruginous Duck
Ferruginous Duck

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