Return to Dakar and Le Technopole

After 7 weeks in Europe, leaving Dakar soon after the start  of the rains, my return at the end  of September  saw the rains still falling. What used to be marshy land two years  ago where our house and other new builds now stand still retains a few rain filled pools. These were full of tadpoles and  various invertrbrates, being fed on by cattle egrets during the day and straw-coloured fruit bats at dusk.

Rains were  falling at the  end of my fist visit to Technopole this morning.  There were, as in August, abundant great  white egrets, little egrets, long-tailed and  great cormorants  and various other herons, including this unfamiliar (to me) white-necked plumage of grey heron.

The high water levels made it difficult for waders to find places to land and for me to explore.  The few were scattered in the taller grasses (below), where I saw one painted snipe and only single figures of little stint, greenshank, common and wood sandpiper, ruff and black-tailed godwit.

New  compared to August were a  couple of osprey, the one below sitting in front of some little grebes, and an increase to about 30 black terns.

The black terns photographed  appear to be returning juveniles, with the very prominent black patch over the shoulder towards  the breast and lack of darker outer primaries. The underwing also shows the white wing coverts; a feature along with the shoulder/breast patch separating it from the similar white-winged black tern.

Towards dusk, a visit to Ngor found the trees along the road between the Sun-u-Gal bar-restuarant and Club Calao full of chatttering, roosting straw-coloured fruit bats. This is presumably the origin of the bats that  fly past our apartment a kilometre up the coast. Sitting on the Sun-u-Gal fencing was this  first-winter pied flycatcher (note the blackish primaries and tail feathers that distinguish it from the browner adult female) and  in the car park a confused male  village indigo bird, fighting with its mirror image. Two sunsets from Calao, showing Isle de Ngor and the  pirogue ferry bringing people back from the last Sunday before Senegal school starts round off the day.

Paul

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