13 Jun 2015

White-cheeked Terns – Sabkhat Al Fasl

White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa is a common breeding summer visitor to the Gulf and Red Sea coast north to Jeddah. There are no inland records of this species that I know off. Birds start occurring in April and by June there are very large numbers as this is the start of their breeding season. White-cheeked Tern juveniles occur from late July and August and some remaining until October. Winter records are rare in the Eastern Province, although they have been seen occasionally. Birds breed offshore Jubail on small islands and use Sabkhat Al Fasl as a feeding area and it is an excellent place to observe the species as well as a good place to try to photograph them. It is not easy to get photos with light showing in the eyes as their plumage is grey, black and white, but birds do come close along the open water areas so close up shots are possible.
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

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