04 August 2014

Several different Gull species – Jizan

Whilst bird watching in Jiazan in April 2014 I came across various different species of Gull. This site is in the southwest of Saudi Arabia and is on the Red Sea coast and is a favoured location for White-eyed Gulls and Sooty Gulls. The best place to see White-eyed Gull is the fish market area and the nearby small fishing harbor where they gather in good numbers to scavenge fish waste. When we arrived about 30 White-eyed Gulls and 10 Sooty Gulls were sitting on the rooftops and we spent about an hour trying to photograph the birds in flight. Most White-eyed Gulls were adults but at least two second calendar year birds were also present. The species has a restricted world range confined almost entirely to the Red Sea and is a spectacular bird. Sooty Gulls have a slightly wider range and are more common but are still difficult to see away from the Red Sea. Other gulls included small numbers of Slender-billed Gulls as well as a few Heuglin's Gulls, one Armenian Gull and several Baltic Gulls. Most of these were scattered along the coast, in the fishing harbor or up the main inlet from the sea.
White-eyed Gull - adult summer
White-eyed Gull - second calendar year
Sooty Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Baltic Gull
Heuglin's Gull