The coast at the Meridien President, Dakar

There can be striking contrasts around Dakar in the sea state, depending on the direction of the wind. Strong (25km/hr) NE winds whipped up the sea at the start of a morning walk along the coast behind the Meridien President Hotel,  whilst a kilometre  around the corner from Pointe des Almadies, the sea was flat.

 Looking north from the Meridien President (left) and (below) south-east towards the lighthouse at Mamelles.

The narrow beach below the  golf course, strewn with volcanic boulders, is less accessible and less busy that many around Dakar, though I  believe that, as with all of the coast, there is statutory public access.

This length of the coast is included in the probably rather arbitrary boundary of the Cap Vert Important Bird Area.

The favoured place for watching seabird migration used to be here, though this has now shifted to Ile de Ngor and the Club Calao. It is possible  to scramble along the coast here, at least with the tide out, as we did. There are fewer people than along much of the Dakar coast and  so more possibility for waterbirds to settle undisturbed, though there were few  today. The typical four wader species of this length of coast were present; a few ruddy turnstone, common sandpiper, ringed plover and whimbrel; those aged were first winter birds (i.e. hatched this year), as are the  majority of the returning waders so far.

Whimbrel. A well marked, probably 1st winter bird.

First winter ruddy turnstones (note  the pale  edges  to the back and wing feathers that ages them)

Common sandpiper

Two northern wheatears fed on the watered fairways of the golf course and this attractively posed crab, of I know not what species, nicely sets off the sea spray and volcanic rocks.

Paul

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