31 January 2012

Yellow-legged Gulls & Armenian Gull Near Yanbu - Bird Records by AbdulRahman Al-Sirhan

AbdulRahman Al-Sirhan, who is a very experienced birdwatcher from Kuwait, who also has an excellent website Birds of Kuwait where he often displays some of his top quality bird photographs paid two visits recently to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One was to the Tabuk area and the other to Madina and the surroundings. AbdulRahman found Sardinian Warblers common around Tabuk and thinks they are probably wintering birds and took the below photographs on 31st December 2011 & 1st January 2012.
 Sardinian Warbler
 Sardinian Warbler

On the coast, 2.7 kilometres north-west of Ash Sharma near Tabuk, Latitude/Longitude 28.044510/35.223024 (see map below) he saw a flock of immature gulls on the 1st January 2012 and soon realized they were different from the gulls he normally sees in Kuwait. The birds showed all the characteristics of Yellow-legged Gull a species AbdulRahman is familiar having seen them recently in Turkey. Yellow-legged Gull has not been properly recorded in Saudi Arabia until now, as far as I am aware, although the location and timing is ideal for the species as they winter in good numbers in both Israel and Egypt, both of which are not too far from this site.
Yellow-legged Gull (2nd calendar year)

On his trip to the Madina area he also looked closely at the gulls and found both Adult Armenian Gull and adult Yellow-legged Gull on the coast 14.1 kilometres north-west of Yanbu Loatitude/Longitude 24.150549/37.941604 (see map below). He photographed both these birds on 23rd January 2012.
Armenian Gull (adult)
Yellow-legged Gull (adult)

I would like to thank AbdulRahman very much for allowing me to publish this data and for allowing me to use his excellent photogrpahs.