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.
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The defunct, twin volcanoes of Mamelles, in Dakar’s Ouakam arrondissement, with Cape Verde Shearwaters and Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The rocky coast of Dakar, forming the Cap Vert Important Bird Area, is an outstanding site for seabirds (photo: P. Robinson). Technopole and its numerous waders, herons, gulls, terns and other waterbirds (including Greater Flamingos when conditions are right) is one of the best sites for birds in the greater Dakar region (photos: B. Piot)
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