03 January 2024

Socotra Cormorant & Kentish Plover – Al Uqayr

Whilst birding the Al Uqayr Customs House I found a single Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis sitting near the shoreline and manage to approach to quite a close range in the car. The bird appeared to be very waterlogged and thus stayed in place whilst we took a few photos. 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 December to May hugh gatherings sometimes occur with more than 25,000 birds on the sea or flying in formation. There are no inland records of this species in the Kingdom. Apart from the Socotra Cormorant there was very little to see along the coast although a very nice plumaged Kentish Plover allowed close approach at one point.