Sep 162017
 


As I am very interested in gulls, we stopped at the fish market in Jizan where we knew from past experience that photography was possible. We only managed to get there late one evening and again in the early afternoon but saw plenty of gulls at both times. Many wait around on the ground for fish waste to be thrown out and then a huge melee breaks out as all the gulls go for the waste at the same time.

Sooty Gulls present were almost entirely adult birds. The species is a partial migrant or nomad with most populations undergoing southern post-breeding dispersal movements in September-November. The species breeds in the summer and usually nests colonially but forages alone. The species inhabits coasts and inshore islands and is hardly ever seen inland or at freshwater. It is found at harbours and ports, and forages inshore, in intertidal zones up to 10 km beyond reefs.

It nests on coastal or inshore coral islands preferring smaller outer islands of old coral that are sparsely vegetated, rocky and sandy, preferably protected from the ocean by live reef. They feed mainly on dead fish and fishermen’s offal, as well as tern eggs and chicks turtle hatchlings prawns and small fish.

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

Sooty Gull

 

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Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

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