22 November 2022

Large gathering of Black-necked Grebe - Uqair

Whilst birding the Uqair area on the edge of the Arabian Gulf with Phil Roberts we came across a few large groups of Black-necked Grebes. There were three groups with approximately a hundred birds in each group making a grand total of 300 birds. It was difficult to count accurately as the birds were continually diving, but this was a conservative number we settled at. This is the second largest group I have ever seen and although the birds were quite distant from the shore were still a spectacular sight. We had found Saudi Arabia’s largest ever gathering of this species in November 2020 when we counted well over 500 birds. Large numbers of fifty or more have been recorded in the Half Moon Bay area 50 kilometres north of this record. We also saw another large group of 192 birds at an inland lake at Dawmat Al Jandal, Jouf province in the northwest of the Kingdom in January 2019.