A fenced oil terminal at Mina Al Zour, on the Arabian Gulf headland of Ras Al Zour is south of Fahaheel. Exit on Road 270 off Highway 40 (Fahaheel Express Way). Habitat includes urban gardens, trees, shrubs and bushes as well as a sand golf course on the site. Just off the small peninsula, sand banks are exposed at low tide. Zour Port is a private, fenced oil terminal with permit access only. Along the beach there are tropical-looking offshore sand bars attracting hundreds of roosting terns, including Swift, Lesser Crested, White-cheeked and Bridled Terns. Several Great Black-headed Gulls and other large “white-headed” gulls are also usually present. Kuwait’s only recorded Lesser Frigatebird was seen here in April 2008. This is one of the best sites in Kuwait for Socotra Cormorant and, from late March through the summer, this Arabian specialty species is regularly seen along this stretch of southern Kuwait coastline. The coast between Zour Port and Fahaheel is also worth exploring, as it provides an alternative to search for Swift, Lesser Crested and Bridled Terns (with access less-restricted than Zour Port). Just to the south, and with less restricted access than Zour Port, Khiran sand-spit can also hold good numbers of roosting terns at low tide, whilst Socotra Cormorant is also recorded here each summer together with Bridled Terns.
As this is a "protected" urban-industrial area within a sensitive petroleum industrial complex. The foreshore, beaches and greenspace here is nonetheless interesting for birds. Notable species that have been recorded include: Yellow-throated Sparrow, Indian Silverbill, Rosy Starling, Hypocolius, Eurasian Scops Owl, European and Egyptian Nightjar, Corn Crake, Common Quail and Western Osprey. At low-tide, Socotra Cormorants can be seen roosting on the exposed sandbanks in summer, whilst Greater Cormorants are present in winter. Most of the Tern species of the northern Gulf can usually be seen here: Bridled, White-cheeked, Little, Lesser Crested, Caspian and Swift. These terns can be seen flying offshore or roosting on the sandbanks in late spring, prior to breeding commencing in summer on the nearby islands. Access is restricted, so visitors are usually not allowed to enter the area. However some look-out points can be reached nearby. The coastline between Zour and Fahaheel is also worth exploring as it provides an alternative to search for Terns and Socotra Cormorant (with access less restricted than Port Zour)
The south coasts of Kuwait have a variety of wildife - including migrant shore-birds, sea birds and rich marine life. The water is clearer here and the beautiful white-sand beaches are very attractive. In the marine environment several wonderful rare species can be spotted with a scope from shore; these include Indo-pacific Humpback Dolphin, Botte-nosed Dolphin, and the rare Black Finless Porpoise. The marine environment here hosts wonderful emblematic species such as Hawksbill Turtles, Sea Snakes and Rays. A small vulnerable population of sea turtles nests on Zour beach.
On issue that is a problem is frequent monitoring of birds along this area. Bird surveys here in the southern part of Kuwait could help conservation planning. We recommed that it would be important for conservation to arrange access for KEPS members through EPA for formal and regular surveys to be conducted. Of course due to the sensitivity of the Petroleum Industrial compex and other private facilities we do not expect this area to open up to visiting birders.
Mrs. Margery Ruth Deemer has published a beautiful book on the biodiversity of the area (it is available from the auther). The book documents the diverse shore-life present along this area and although it is the work of an amateur naturalist it is a monumental task showcasing the richness of Ras Al-Zour beaches This book is cited as:
Margery Ruth Deemer (2011). Ras Al Zour: A Naturalists Photo Album - Guide to common local animals and plants, Kuwait. Published by the author. ParaGraphics - Kuwait.