17 January 2019

Mallard - Jubail

Whilst birding at Jubail 11 January and I found a group of eight Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, three males and five females in an area of flooded sabkha. In the Eastern Province they are an uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor that generally occurs from late August until May, with peak numbers from September to March. It occurs mainly in the coastal zone where they often frequent coastal areas and inland pools. The only regular sites are the Dammam area where birds are often seen in Tarout Bay and the Jubail area that regularly has small flocks of up to 35 birds in the winter. Inland records have come from Dhahran Saudi Aramco camp percolation pond and Abqaiq lagoons where birds are seen each winter in numbers up to 15 birds. The species is extremely weary in the Kingdom and getting close to birds is extremely difficult. The group of eight birds I saw were hidden behind a group of trees and the only half decent photo, shown below, was through the trees, As soon as I moved, the birds sensed my presence and flew off.