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.