30 April 2022

Eurasian Bittern – Jubail

After I recorded Eurasian Bittern in two different places the Eastern province in 2020, from Dhahran (spring) and Jubail (autumn), I recorded a further four birds at Jubail 14 October 2021. These additional records suggest the species may not be so rare in the Eastern Province as previously thought. Prior to these records the species was thought to be a vagrant in the Eastern Province, with the only eight records as follows: One Hofuf Lakes, 21 May 1976; One Dhahran, 24 November 1978; One Jawb, on the northern edge of the Rub’ al-Khali, 25 September 1980; One Abqaiq, 11-17 December 1982; Three Abqaiq, 19-20 October 1983; One Abqaiq, 14-21 December 1984; Khafrah Marsh, booming birds in March 1998 and again March 1999, but not heard or seen in other years despite the site being visited each month over a seven year period. The record from December suggests some might spend the winter in the Eastern Province. My recordings in the Eastern Province during passage migration seasons suggests the species is a scarce passage migrant rather than a vagrant.