22 February 2023

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron – Dhahran Hills

I have been seeing Black-crowned Night Heron around the Waste Water Pond in Dhahran the last couple of months. I normally see them a first light or as it is getting dark, flying from the trees in the residential area to and from the pond. A few days ago, I managed to see a juvenile in the morning and get some good photos of it. I flushed it from a large tree near the waters edge and it flew a short distance and landed on the bank where it started hunting for food. I was able to walk around and get quite close to it and took the below photos. Black-crowned Night Heron is an uncommon migrant to most areas of Saudi Arabia but in the Riyadh area is a common spring and autumn passage migrant passing early February to early June and again from late July to early November and rarely as late as December with birds now regularly breeding in the area. In the Eastern Province it is an uncommon migrant noted more often in autumn than spring. Juveniles occur from September through November and sometimes into February. Spring occurrences are irregular from April to May. I believe birds now breed near Jubail, so are hopefully going to become a commoner sight in the next few years.