25 September 2022

Juvenile White-winged Terns – Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area recently I came across a juvenile White-winged Tern sitting amongst a large number of White-cheeked Terns. The location and light conditions allowed several good photos to be taken. In Saudi Arabia the White-winged Tern is a common passage migrant, local winter visitor, erratic summer visitor and possible breeding resident. They normally occur in small groups of up to twenty birds, but recently in the Jubail area in late summer early autumn large gatherings of over a hundred birds have been recorded in the last three years. An exceptional record of a group of over 1000 birds was seen at Dawmat al Jandal in spring one year. Adults in breeding plumage occur from March to early June and in early August juveniles appear and are seen through to December. Birds are most often seen near the coast but have occurred well inland with one seen at Haradh in September. White-winged Tern is much commoner than the similar Whiskered Tern in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.