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.
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)
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.
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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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