03 October 2022

Huge numbers of Slender-billed Gulls – Jubail

In September huge numbers of Slender-billed Gulls were seen in the Jubail area. Numbers of over 4000 birds were seen along the coast in a number of different locations, with these numbers being the largest I have ever seen. Most birds were adults although a few first-year birds were also present. The species does not breed in Saudi Arabia but must do somewhere close by based on these numbers. Most birds sit a little offshore or out on the flooded areas of Sabkha and getting close is not so easy but some can be seen along the coast line making photography easier. This species is partially migratory, with birds wintering around the Arabian Peninsula but others staying year around. Its status in Saudi Arabia is a common year-round visitor but is almost entirely found on the coasts where it prefers shallow coastal waters and intertidal areas. Birds are gregarious and almost always found in groups.