The end of April at Technopole

The increasingly shallow western lake holds most of the birds this month. Although many waders have departed, there are still several hundred ringed plover and black-winged stilt, whilst some curlew sandpipers are now moving into the brick-red summer plumage.  Around the deeper lakes and hidden under bushes, at least 270 Senegal thick-knee was a huge count of this  mysterious species; apparently the second highest for West Africa  after a count up-river in the Gambia and only the second site with a count exceeding the threshold 1% that defines international  importance. I must say this  statistic is improbable  and the species’ sometimes secretive habits make it not very easy  to count well and rapidly during the African Waterbird Census.

Collared pratincole

Two collared  pratincoles, a commoner species in the north of the country, became species 179 for Technopole and nearby this Kittlitz’s plover, a species present here all months  and in need of a search to see if it is breeding, was in its pleasant breeding plumage .

Kittlitz’s plover

The lake’s  islands have  a few African and Eurasian spoonbill, including this ringed bird, for which we are awaiting information on its origins.  The first  photo shows how often  the flags are not visible.

A mixed group of spoonbills

The  gull and tern flock is now mainly composed  of the resident  slender-billed gull, turning into its breeding plumage and presumably soon to depart from Daker to the colonies to the north or  south. Mixed  in is still one of the Franklin’s  gulls, a few second and third year Audouin’s gulls and a second year Mediterranean gull, photographed here for the record.  Gull-billed  terns  are still the main tern species and a summer plumaged common tern, perhaps also one of the small number  of Senegal breeding birds, was  new.

Second year Mediterranean  gull amongst slender-billed gulls


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