07 May 2024

Influx of Purple Heron – Dhahran Waste Water Lake

Whilst birding Dhahran Waste Water Treatment Lake during the last couple of weeks I have been seeing one or two Purple Herons with the larger number of Grey Heron and Great Egrets. The last visit, there was a marked increase in number of Purple Heron with a minimum of seven birds seen, but possibly many more. It has a status in Saudi Arabia as a rare breeding resident, common passage migrant & uncommon winter visitor. Most birds are seen on spring migration during late March to early May. In the Eastern Province it is a locally common passage migrant and winter visitor seen from August through April with the majority in the coastal zone. Elsewhere in Saudi Arabia it is a common migrant and winter visitor to all coasts and coastal wetlands and occurs inland in areas such as Riyadh and Tabuk. This species appears to have started to colonize the Eastern Province with birds regularly seen in the summer months now, including once at Jubail with a juvenile nearby.