22 March 2023

Displaying Great Crested Grebe – Al Uqayr

Whilst birding Al Uqayr recently I saw four Great Crested Grebes. These birds were in two pairs and one pair started to display to each other, a sight I have not seen before in Saudi Arabia. The species is a very rare breeder in Saudi Arabia where it once built nests and bred on the percolation pond in Dhahran. Let’s hope these birds stay and breed in the area. Great Crested Grebe is not an easy bird to see in Saudi Arabia with the Eastern Province the best area to see them. Several lakes are good for the species including the one at the end of Abu Ali Island and Khafra Marsh. The Dhahran Waste Water Lake is also a regular place to see them. The best place appears to be the sheltered bays of the Arabian Gulf where up to fifty have been seen together in recent years.