22 March 2014

Laura the Satellite Tagged Baltic Gull update – Records by Per Hansson

Laura the satellite tagged Baltic Gull from Sweden who has spent the entire winter in a very small area south of Jizan, between the city and the Yemen boarder is still present in the same area  - see below map for latest locations. She has been very faithful to this small area and I for one am surprised that a gull like this does not range more widely. It presumably means that the feeding and safety of this area is good for a bird like her, which is encouraging. This satellite tagged bird has give a tremendous amount of information on the position of the species in Saudi Arabia and has confirmed their status as a common winter visitor to the southern Red Sea coast of the Kingdom. They are scarce on the Gulf coast and despite extensive searching I am yet to see one in the Eastern Province although a few records do exist. Laura should be moving north in the next few weeks back to her breeding ground and it will be interesting to see what route she takes. On her arrival she travelled down the Red Sae coast, so I suspect this is the most likely course out of Saudi Arabia for her.