سقطرى | Socotra

SUB-REGION
Horn of Africa

SIZE
Socotra is the largest island in an archipelago of four islands and three islets with a total area of 3,974 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

A blend of Middle Eastern and African components in the avifauna
Approximately 190 recorded species

Socotra Bunting (Tasso Leventis)
Socotra Golden-winged Grosbeak (Tasso Leventis)

Endemics (E)
Jouanin’s Petrel (breeding) (NT)
Socotra Buzzard (VU)
Socotra Scops Owl (LC)
Socotra Cisticola (NT)
Socotra Warbler (LC)
Socotra White-eye (NA)
Socotra Starling (LC)
Socotra Sunbird (LC)
Socotra Sparrow (LC)
Abd al-Kuri Sparrow (VU)
Socotra Golden-winged Grosbeak (LC)
Socotra Bunting (NT)

Socotra Scops Owl (Tasso Leventis)
Socotra Warbler (Tasso Leventis)
Socotra Starling (Tasso Leventis)

Birds best found on Socotra but occurring more widely (BT)
Forbes-Watson’s Swift

Birds best found in two territories of the ABC region but occurring in more (B2)
Persian Shearwater

Socotra Cormorant (Tasso Leventis)
Nubian Nightjar (Yoav Perlmann)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Harlequin Quail (arabica)
Masked Booby (melanops)
Brown Booby
Socotra Cormorant
Sooty Gull
Saunders’s Tern
Bridled Tern
Laughing Dove (ESS sokotrae)
White-browed Coucal (sokotrae)
Nubian Nightjar (ESS jonesi)
Common Kestrel (archeri)
Great Grey Shrike (ESS uncinatus)
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark (ESS forbeswatsoni)
Somali Starling
Long-billed Pipit (ESS sokotrae)
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (ESS insularis)

MAIN HABITATS
Arid scrubland, mountains

BIRD AREAS
Socotra Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
22 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Wadi Ayhaft and Diksam

TIMING (Nov, Apr-May)
Best when most birds breed, during and after the rains (Oct-Dec, Apr-May)
Forbes-Watson’s Swift is absent Sep-Feb
Seabirds breed May-Sep

RESOURCES
Apps

Birds of the Middle East (in English and Arabic)

Field guides
Birds of the Horn of Africa by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe (2011)
Birds of the Middle East by Richard Porter & Simon Aspinall (2010), which is also available in Arabic
Birds of Eastern Africa by Ber Van Perlo (2009)
Fauna of the Socotra Archipelago: Field Guide by Wolfgang Wranik, O S Al-Saghier, S Aspinall, R F Porter & H Rösler (2003)

Further reading
Checklist of the Birds of the Socotra Archipelago by Richard Porter & Ahmed Saeed Suleiman (2020)
Yemen & Socotra, a trip report compiled by Niklas Holmström & Ulf Ståhle (2009)
The Lost World of Socotra: Yemen’s Island of Bliss by Richard Boggs (2009)
Socotra: a Natural History of the Islands and their People by Catherine Cheung & Lyndon DeVantier (2006)
Important Bird Areas in the Middle East compiled by M I Evans (1994)
Articles in Sandgrouse, Bull. ABC, etc.

Websites
Socotra Archipelago – UNESCO World Heritage List
The Socotra Archipelago Project

ORGANISATIONS

There is currently no BirdLife Partner in Yemen, which Socotra is politically part of

Bird or conservation organisations active on, or associated with, Socotra include –
The Socotra Wildlife Association (SWA)
Friends of Soqotra (FOS)
Yemen Society for the Protection of Wildife (YSPF)


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