20 November 2015

Grey-headed Swamphen in Dammam – Bird records by Arnold Uy

Purple Swamphen is not a rare bird in the Eastern Province and large numbers can be seen at its main breeding site of Sabkhat Al Fasl. Although this has traditionally been the only site to see them. Phil Roberts and I also found a second breeding site for the species at Khafrah Marsh a couple of years ago and other birds have been seen at Dhahran Percolation Pond and Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm in recent times, so it looks like the species may be extending its range as these are the only sites in the whole of Saudi Arabia. Arnold Uy sent me some details and a couple of photos of a Grey-headed Swamphen he saw on a small wetland in Dammam. He mentioned the bird was used to people and allowed close approach. This location is close to Dhahran but 125 kilometres south of the main site of Sabkhat Al Fasl again indicating the species is spreading out from its traditional core area. I thank Arnold for allowing me to use the photos on my website some of which are reproduced below.