07 March 2024

Record numbers of Red-knobbed Coot – Khamis Mushait area

The first Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata for Saudi Arabia at Sabkhat Al Fasl on 22 May 2015 and since then a handful of records have been recorded at Al Bahah and Abha in Saudi Arabia. I found a group of 26 birds near Abha 8 - 12 July 2022 which was easily the largest gathering of birds seen in Saudi Arabia with all birds apparently adults. Winter 2023-2024 has produced the largest counts ever with high counts of 112 birds at Tendaha Lake and a further 39 birds nearby at Atwad Dam, both locations near Khamis Mushait. We saw 143 birds in a day at these two locations with a few young birds seen at Tendaha Dam where chicks have also been noted this winter showing breeding is now occurring. The species appears to now be a scarce resident breeder in Saudi Arabia.