08 January 2022

Socotra Cormorant – Al Uqayr

Whilst birding the seafront next to Al Uqayr Customs House I found a few Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis sitting on the stones near the shoreline and manage to approach to quite close range but unfortunately the light was in the wrong direction making taking photos somewhat difficult. They are not so easy to photograph and I was relatively happy with my efforts. They breed on islands in the Arabian Gulf where they are common. Small numbers can be seen close to the mainland coast especially from April to August but from October to March it is generally outnumbered by great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. Huge gatherings sometimes occur from December to May with more than 25,000 birds on the sea or flying in formation. There are no inland records of this species in the Kingdom.