Reed Cormorant photographed in Egypt


Reed Cormorant has been recorded in Egypt for what is thought to be the first time in more than a century.

A flock of at least 20 birds were photographed on 26 March by Thomas Chinnick at Lake Nasser, which is situated in the far south of the country, close to the Sudan border.

According to Birds of Egypt, which was published in 1989, Reed Cormorant was formerly a breeding bird in the country, but the last known record was in 1903. Reports of vagrant birds since then are unconfirmed.

Some of the Reed Cormorants photographed in late March at Lake Nasser (Thomas Chinnick).


Egypt's rare breeding birds

This intriguing record of multiple birds perhaps suggests Reed Cormorant is more regular in Egypt than thought. The country has form for reappearances of species after long absences and discoveries of new breeding birds. In recent years, these have included Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse in Minya province in 2012, Saunders's Tern in the Red Sea in 2013 and Yellow Bittern in 2014.

Reed Cormorant breeds in much of Africa south of the Sahara. It is resident but undertakes some seasonal movements. However, it is highly localised in the Western Palearctic, being regularly found only in coastal Mauritania. This population is largely resident, but some birds move south in the winter.

A bird on Santiago, Cape Verde, from November 2017 until May 2018 was a national first. One photographed at Charca de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, on 20 March 2023 represented the first modern record for Spain.