30 June 2023

Breeding Pied Avocet – Jubail area

Whilst birding the Jubail area in late-June I saw two pairs of adult Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta behaving as if they had young nearby, flying over me calling in an agitated manner. As it appears the birds are breeding at the location for the fourth year in succession, I only took a few flight shots and left so as not to disturb the birds. Pied Avocet is mainly an uncommon migrant and winter visitor to all coasts that is locally common along the southern Red Sea coast and scarce inland. Very few birds have been proven to breed but in Riyadh in 1986, 10 birds over-summered and two pairs nested in June and produced young. In 1987 a pair again bred but the nest was preyed upon by Brown-necked Ravens Corvus ruficollis. In the Eastern Province two pairs attempted to breed at Abqaiq 1976 & 1982 and three pairs in 1983 although it is generally a rather scarce visitor from August to March. Records have occurred throughout the year in the Jubail area but records in summer are much less common. A number of breeding pairs (possible as many as twelve) were found in 2020 at the same location as this year’s breeders, with two breeding paris seen in 2021 and 2022.