21 September 2017

White-eyed Gull at Sharma – Record by Euan Fergusson

Whilst staying at Sharma, on the Red Sea coast of northwest Saudi Arabia, Euan Fergusson saw White-eyed Gull. This species is almost entirely restricted to the Red Sea with most birds seen in the Jizan area although they are also common in Jeddah. The White-eyed Gull is mostly sedentary although it disperses from its breeding sites in the Red Sea to occur throughout the Red Sea during the non-breeding season. There may also be some southward and eastward movement during this time, when it is reported to become scarce in the northern part of its range. Breeding takes place during the months of June – September where it breeds in loose colonies, on inshore islands, where it occupies bare rock and sand flats, and usually consists of fewer than 25 pairs. During the non-breeding season it is usually found in small groups, but sometimes forms flocks of hundreds or even thousands to forage and often occurs further out to sea at this time. They eat mainly fish, but also crustaceans, molluscs, annelids and offal.
White-eyed Gull