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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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, So is Iles de la Madeleine, and further afield the Saloum Delta at Palmarin (photos: B. Piot)
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