08 December 2015

Largest Count of Western Great Egret – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl 27 November, Phil Roberts and I saw the largest flock of Western Great Egrets seen in the country to date when we discovered 250 together on the flooded area behind the power station. A couple of times the birds all took flight allowing a good estimate of numbers to be made. The Western Great Egret is a regular visitor to the Eastern Province where it is often seen at Sabkhat Al Fasl south to Tarout Bay and coastal areas south to Dammam where it is mainly seen from September through March and occasionally in late May with a maximum count of 170 birds. Away from the coastal zones presumed migrants have been recorded in March at lakes north of Hofuf and in October in Abqaiq. Elsewhere in Saudi Arabia it is an uncommon but regular migrant to both coasts although also occurs inland including Riyadh.
Western Great Egret