Some observations from Yoff Virage

The beach at Virage, east of Ngor and facing  north-west into the Atlantic, is included within the Cap Vert Important Bird Area and we are lucky enough that our roof terrace looks  out across just  to the east of it and provides  some elevated opportunities  for watching for seabirds and  dolphins between the prosaic activities of hanging out clothing to wash.

The view from the roof terrace in September, with storm clouds.

Yesterday morning (29th), a  30 minute watch was remarkable for the sighting of another adult or second year Franklin’s gull flying north, after the run of observations  of  this American  species in Dakar this summer, reported earlier in the blog, and  a large whale of unknown species moving south.  The sea was flat calm and my limited experience suggests that  observations of large  whales in September and October  when the sea conditions make observation possible are not uncommon. This  one blew vertically and  rolled twice, giving me only enough information to say it was not a humpback or sperm.

The beach is usually too busy with people  for many waders, but two bar-tailed godwits fed rapidly at the edge of  the rising tide, just after low tide.

This  ringed plover nearby shows  the yellowish legs, brown head (no black) and incomplete breast band of  a juvenile.

A few northern wheatears have been migrating along the coast (I do not  know if they will stay to  winter here) over the past two weeks. This one was on the beach.



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