Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The coast at Jizan Industrial city

Five kilometres south of Jizan is Jizan industrial city. Despite it's name the coast is clean and has a number of mud flats and flooded inlets.

It is a haven for birds. The deeper inlets and their sand banks makes it particularly attractive to gulls and terns as well as both small and large waders. 

I probably didn't give the gulls as much attention as I should have. However, there were at least five different types and one was a "lifer" for me. Whereas Jizan bay had white-eyed gull this coast had it and it's close cousin sooty gull. This was my "lifer" gull.

sooty gull

Lesser black backed gull were in evidence still wintering from northern Europe. The one below had a couple of rings on.

lesser black blacked gull

There were two slender-billed gull making it the least common of the gulls I identified.

slender billed gull

There were several heuglin's gull. Some people call this its own species while others see it as a sub species of lesser black-backed gull. I keep my species list on ebird. That database calls it a sub species.

Gulls including heuglins gull

There were at least two types of tern along the coast. One was Caspian tern with its large size and deep red bill making it instantly recognisable. The other was whiskered tern.

whiskered tern in flight

The featured bird is still essentially in its winter plumage.

whiskered tern

As there was some deeper water above the mud flats, there were more large waders. These included common greenshank, bar-tailed godwit and grey plover. There were also several common redshank and unlike the whiskered tern, most were in summer plumage.

common redshank

The change to summer plumage was not uniform. Two days ago I showed two curlew sandpiper in winter plumage but the one here was heading towards summer plumage. 

curlew sandpiper

Needless to say there were several dunlin around but only one showed a hint of it summer black belly.

ruddy turnstone

I was quite surprised to see ruddy turnstone on mud flats lacking rocks but there were several.

The same three small plovers were present that I observed at Jizan bay. However I managed better pictures of both kentish plover and lesser sand plover.

two lesser sand plover

The white collar is an easy way for me to separate kentish plover from lesser sand plover. The smaller bill is the shortest way I can separate lesser sand plover from greater sand plover.

kentish plover

There were possibly some stints present but I can't categorically say I saw them.

ringed plover

There were two other quite different species in the neighbourhood though. One was a group of  nine adult greater flamingo in one of the flooded in-lets. I hesitate to call it a mangrove because I don't think the trees are natural but planted.

You may recall there were a small group of first cycle flamingo at Jizan bay.


The final bird in the area was Indian house crow. I suspect their purpose around the gulls and their brooding was malevolent.

house crow

In a forthcoming  blog I'll list of all birds seen near Jizan and look at the one bird I couldn't identify.


  1. Nice stuff - that solitary LBB shot looks interesting, it's very dark-mantled but could be the light/exposure/rendition also the head looks elegant but that could be posture - if it was here in blighty i would opt for a Baltic-fuscus type but i'm not naming names! Info off of the rings would clinch it........

    Laurie -

  2. Laurie, I think it is fuscus too. They are not unheard off down here.