06 August 2020

Breeding Little terns - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I came across a few Little Terns some of which had well grown young to feed. As most of the area is flooded the birds were on the edge of some large flooded pools. In the Eastern Province the Little Tern is a common passage migrant and summer visitor that is scarce in the winter. Care must be taken not to confuse it with the very similar Saunder’s Tern that also occurs in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in the summer and breeds on offshore islands. It has bred in freshwater and brackish areas of eastern Saudi Arabia and possibly the Red Sea also. Birds are scarce inland but have been recorded in all areas including Riyadh. In the summer months the chance to try to get photos is increased as adults were feeding young and continually flying backwards and forwards with food. The harsh light is a drawback but the best photos I managed are shown below.