19 March 2024

Socotra Cormorant – Al Uqair

Whilst birding the Al Uqair area in March we found a number of Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis sitting next to the waters edge at very close range. The birds included both adults and juveniles. This is probably the best place in the local area to see the species at close range but only if you remain in the car. 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.