18 June 2023

Breeding plumage Squacco Herons - Jubail

Whilst birding Jubail I came across well over fifty adult summer plumaged Squacco Herons. They were all sitting out in the reeds in the flooded sabkha with a few close by in the track side vegetation. A number of birds were seen flying past allowing some close up flight shots. Adult summer plumage birds are being seen much more commonly in recent years suggesting birds are breeding in the area as numbers have significantly increased in the summer months in the last three or four years. Significant numbers of juveniles are seen in the early autumn also suggesting breeding is occurring either here or very nearby. The species is very common here on spring and autumn migration as well as in the winter but has only been recorded breeding occasionally in the Eastern province previously although they breed commonly in the west of the Kingdom.